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Full text of "Monument school of the people : a sesquicentennial history of St. Mary's College of Maryland, 1840-1990"

MONUMENT SCHOOL OF THE PEOPLE 

A Sesqukentennial History of 

St. Mary's College of Maryland, 

1840-1990 

by 
J. Frederick Faiisz 

Associate Professor of History 
St. Mary's College of Maryland 



This book is dedicated to the students, 

staff, and supporters of St. Mary's 

College, past and present, who have 

made this school so special. 

Rich joy and love we got and gave, 

Our hearts were merry as our desires. 

Pile laurel wreaths upon our grave 

Who did not gain, but were success. 

-Joyce Kilmer, 
as quoted in The Castellan. 1949 




COPYRIGHT INFORMATION 

Copyright © 1990 by J. Frederick Fausz and St. Mary's College of Maryland 

All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce this work in any form whatsoever, except for brief passages in connection with a review. 
For information write: The Office of Advancement/Publishers, St. Mary's College of Maryland, St. Mary's City, MD 20686 

Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 90-60400 

ISBN 0-9625867-0-6 

Printed in The United States of America 



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DONALD 


SCHAEFER 



STATE OF MARYLAND 

OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR 



All Marylanders have a reason to celebrate the 150th 
anniversary of St. Mary's College of Maryland. Founded in 
1840 as a "living monument" to the birth of Maryland, the 
College has helped to preserve our first capital, St. Mary's 
City. Since its beginnings, the College has advanced the 
principles of tolerance that made Maryland so important in 
American history. Today, as in 1840, St. Mary's is an 
affordable public institution serving a diverse student 
population with the highest standards of excellence. 

The story of St. Mary's, recounted so well in this book, is 
the story of individual Marylanders who repeatedly saved the 
school when it was threatened by economic crisis, natural 
disaster, or changing state policies. Their efforts are a 
heroic lesson in citizenship. They show how men and women, 
acting not for self-gain but for intellectual ideals, can 
make a lasting contribution to the state. Their struggles 
testify, as well, to the profound way in which St. Mary's has 
inspired every generation of MarylancJers . 

Today, St. Mary's College of Maryland continues to inspire 
us. We treasure its close links with our history, its campus 
of rare beauty and charm, and its national reputation for 
academic excellence. As the Governor of the State of 
Maryland, I feel privileged to congratulate the College on 
this happy occasion. May the "monument school" continue to 
thrive, enriching our state's collective heritage as it 
offers future generations the gift of knowledge. 



William Donald Schaefer 





TABLE OF CONTENTS 



Preface 6 

Introduction: Where the Past is Present for the Future 8 

Chapter I. St. Mary's City, Haven of Hope: 

The Seventeenth Century As Prologue 10 

Chapter II. Ever Rising from the Ashes: 

St. Marys Female Semmary, 1840-1923 24 

Chapter III. Trials and Triumphs: 

Miss Frances Junior College, 1923-1948 60 

Chapter IV. Forever Young: 

The Old School and the New College, 1948-1990 98 

A Note on Sources 150 

Photo Credits 151 

Appendices 152 

Index 157 



Whatever one person's path to the past, once there it is 
an intriguing place to spend time. And the only self- 
respecting way back to the present leaves each of us 
with the responsibility of fashioning our own route out. 
—James Davidson and Mark Lytle, After the Fact: The Art 
of Historical Detection 



PREFACE 



i; 



'n writing this first book-length history of St. 

.Mary's College,! have belatedly fulfilled a century- 
old directive of the Board of Trustees. Meeting on Thurs- 
day, 8 September 1887, the school's trustees unanimously 
passed a resolution that instructed Board Secretary John 
A. Camalier to "prepare an authentic history of this In- 
stitution from its inception, [to include] ... all mat- 
ters of interest connected with its progress from the 
origin thereof to the present time. " There is no evi- 
dence that Camalier's history, like so many others that 
were proposed over the past 150 years, was ever written. 
In December 1911, Trustee Daniel C. Hammett did 
write the first known account "of the origin and con- 
duct of the School," but it was brief enough to be read 
in its entirety at the June 1912 commencement. Presi- 
dents M. Adele France and A. May Russell mined a 
wealth of historical information in producing the school's 
notable pageants from the early 1920s to the late 1950s, 
but their main contribution was to leave behind the ar- 
chival raw material without which this book could not 
have been written. 

While it might seem odd that the state's Monument 
School, founded to memorialize the rich legacy of his- 
toric St. Mary's City, has never had a comprehensive his- 
tory of itself, this institution has successfully imparted 
an abiding appreciation of its heritage even without a 
written text. Five generations of students have lived 
among the landmarks and artifacts of Maryland's colo- 
nial past on the St. Mary's campus, and after one has felt 
the presence of dead ancestors and their living ideals, 
no book can do justice to the experience. "While all col- 
leges have a history, St. Mary's is unique as a living me- 
morial to history. This special site of notable firsts in 
American history is truly a place where the past is present 
for the future, and no single volume can possibly encom- 
pass or evoke all of its significance. 

Aware of that daunting challenge, I conceived this 



book as a basic source that would explain institutional 
development and as an introduction to the social history 
of the school, representing the individual dreams and 
dramas that bestow vitality and meaning to institu- 
tions. Although the many rare photographs and eyewit- 
ness accounts that appear in this volume help the reader 
empathize with former generations, I am well aware of 
the limitations of time and of traditional documentary 
research for imparting what literary critic Lionel Trill- 
ing described as the "huge, unrecorded hum of implica- 
tion [which] was once there and left no trace. " I beg the 
indulgence of alumni and friends of St. Mary's whose 
memories, insights, and contributions are omitted from 
this book, for my interpretations are designed as an ini- 
tial contribution to a long, ongoing process of historical 
recovery and recollection. If this first history stimulates 
the formation of richer and more diverse archives be- 
cause of its errors of omission or commission, then the 
project will have been a most fitting memorial for the 
sesquicentennial anniversary of St. Mary's College. 

A cknou 'ledgments 

Monument School of the People was written over the course 
of two hectic academic years, sandwiched into an al- 
ready tight schedule of teaching, research, and admin- 
istrative responsibilities, and it could not have been 
completed without the patient support of my students, 
colleagues, and family. 1 am particularly grateful to Ted 
Lewis for giving me the opportunity to write this first 
history (every historian's dream), and I hope his confi- 
dence is rewarded by the result. The alumni and com- 
munity supporters of St. Mary's College came through 
like they always have, providing important documents 
and rare photographs that immensely improved the fi- 
nal product. Sharing my sense of excitement as those 
contributions arrived were the members of the Sesqui- 
centennial Book Advisory Committee: Christine C. 



Cihlar, Director of Public Affairs, a constant supporter 
with a keen appreciation of the school's history; Dr. M. 
Starr Costello '80, Director of College Advancement, 
who oversaw the administrative details of the project; 
Dr. Dana K. Greene, Professor of History, who vastly 
improved the manuscript with her perceptive readings; 
and Daniel Laskin, forrrierly Director of Grants and 
Publications, who copyedited the book with great skill. 
Librarian Joe Storey, Head of Technical Services, was 
most helpful in placing archival materials at my dis- 
posal and in working with Melissa Worthington '88 and 
Betsy Keisman, my indispensable student research as- 
sistants. Dr. Beth L. Truebell, Director of Grants and 



Publications, Ann E. Cruse, Coordinator of Publica- 
tions, and Marybeth Burke, the indexer, provided tal- 
ent and support in equal measure. Finally, I must thank 
my wife, Jeanette Fox Fausz '81, and my three-year-old- 
son, John, for their patience in tolerating my obsession 
with this project. After enduring the night-long clat- 
tering of my printer for months on end, they consis- 
tently gave the kind of warm, familial support that 
made me feel less alone amid the distant centuries. 

Fred Fausz 
Calvert Hall 17 
November 1989 




ST. MARTS 
COLLEGE 

OF MARYLAND 

^ 150 YEARS P 



The past remains integral to us all, individually and 

collectively. We must concede the ancients their 

place . . . (hut) their place is not simply hack 

there, in a separate and foreign country: it is 

assimilated in ourselves, and resurrected into an 

ever-changing present. 

— David Lowenthal, The Past is a Foreign Country 



INTRODUCTION 

Where the Past is Present for the Future 



Anniversaries are always occasions for retrospec- 
tive glimpses into the forgotten, often forbid- 
ding, "foreign country" that is the Past, and this sesqui- 
centennial observance gives us a unique opportunity to 
consider the special character, charm, and significance 
of St. Mary's College of Maryland, an institution so dear 
to so many. The sesquicentennial is all the more mean- 
ingful because St. Mary's has survived— indeed thrived— 
despite much adversity and against incredible odds. 
This 20-year-old college with 150-year-old roots as a 
female seminary is regarded today as the premier under- 
graduate institution in the Maryland state system ot 
higher education-a fitting testament to five generations 
of human inspiration, dedication, and perseverance. 

For most of its century-and-a-half, St. Mary's has 
been the best kept secret in Maryland, a school too 
poor, too small, and too isolated to take seriously. Re- 
cently, however, it has received national attention as an 
affordable alternative in liberal arts education to elite 
private colleges. St. Mary's was ranked first among "re- 
gional liberal-arts colleges" m the northeast by the {7.5. 
Neivs and World Report " 1990 College Guide" issue of 16 
October 1989, and the young college with the vener- 
able heritage enters its sesquicentennial anniversary af- 
ter six years of unparalleled progress, popularity, and 
favorable publicity. All Marylanders should know about 
St. Mary's College, not only because they financially 
support it and benefit from its rise to prominence, but 
because it is the state's living memorial to the colonial 
founders and their enduring principles. This Monu- 
ment School of the People- Maryland's oldest state- 
owned institution ot higher education, its first public 
boarding school for females, its first junior college, and 
its only liberal arts college in the state system -marks 



150 years ot service to the citizens of Maryland still 
committed to innovation inspired by tradition. 

Since its founding in 1840, St. Mary's College has 
had but one campus-a beautiful riverside landscape of 
quiet charm on the sacred site ot Maryland's first settle- 
ment and seventeenth-century capital. This region of 
Southern Maryland, nurtured by warming winds and 
the rich resources of the Chesapeake Bay, has supported 
human habitation tor more than ten thousand years, 
from a Stone Age of flint chips to a Space Age ot com- 
puter chips. Since the arrival ot the first Maryland colo- 
nists in 1634, the St. Mary's River has attracted people 
of diverse backgrounds and beliets and educated them 
in the lifeways and world views ot one another. Native 
peoples from every continent have found the area alive 
with potential for abundant living, spiritual renewal, 
and an enriching knowledge evolved trom adaptation to 
new challenges and opportunities. 

It is significant that the campus ot St. Mary's Col- 
lege was the setting for so much human inspiration and 
creative adaptation two hundred years before the school 
existed. The remarkable early pioneers-of ideas and 
ideals as well as territory-were the first Americans to 
embrace our values of human treedom, values that were 
then considered radical or heretical everywhere else in 
the English-speaking world. Maryland was Great Brit- 
ain's first overseas settlement dedicated to the prin- 
c'\^\t-and practne-of religious toleration; the first to 
foster demands for women's suffrage and equal political 
participation; the first to establish long-term coopera- 
tive relations with a large neighboring Indian popula- 
tion; and the first to integrate Africans and continental 
Europeans, Catholics, Protestants, and Jews into the so- 
cial, economic, and political mainstream of colonial life. 



St. Mary's City was unique among British colonial capi- 
tals in having both Jesuit priests and an English baron 
in extended residence, and in establishing official non- 
sectarianism as well as English Catholicism along the 
shores of the New World. 

The progressive liberalism of St. Mary's City spawned 
an impressive pluralism that is typically American. By 
the last quarter ot the seventeenth century, the thriv- 
ing, cosmopolitan capital city of a prosperous province 
welcomed visitors or immigrants from most of Western 
Europe, many shires of England, all the neighborhoods 
of London, the townships of Massachusetts, the river 
plantations of Tidewater Virginia, and the tribal territo- 
ries of Algonquian and Iroquoian Indians. This plural- 
ism of culture, creed, color, and condition created a 
new, hybrid society with a uniquely pragmatic perspec- 
tive on accommodating diversity and adapting to rap- 
idly changing circumstances. The acceptance of change 
and innovation in all phases of life quickly emerged as 
Maryland's— and ultimately America's— enduring tradi- 
tion in a land of endless immigrants and limitless fron- 
tiers. The vast promise of life here, of opportunity 
perceived and realized, prevented England's rigid class 
system from taking root in this soil. 

Founded to commemorate those significant colonial 
achievements, St. Mary's College has relied upon both 
tradition and innovation, continuity and change, to ac- 
complish its mission as the Monument School of the 
People. The history of the school has in many ways mir- 
rored the history of early Maryland in the trials faced 
and tragedies surmounted. Like the indomitable phoe- 
nix of mythology, St. Mary's College has been reborn 



many times, ever rising from ashes, both figurative and 
literal, and each time, the school has rebounded with 
new energy and innovation. Changing in size, form, 
and function to better serve the educational needs of 
each new generation of Marylanders, St. Mary's has 
nonetheless retained a unique identity for 150 years. 
True to the founding ideals and original purposes of its 
creators, the school has retained its significant campus, 
despite criticisms of rural isolation, and kept its name, 
despite persistent, and at times detrimental, confusion 
that it is a private religious institution. From the begin- 
ning, St. Mary's has consistently been a state-owned, 
independently administered, nonsectarian public insti- 
tution, providing an excellent education in the liberal 
arts at a reasonable cost. 

The pioneering origins of the College as Maryland's 
only state-owned boarding school for young women and 
its mandated identification with revolutionary princi- 
ples of the New World experience have allowed it to 
embrace innovations as integral to its traditions. Nur- 
turing each new generation's quest of the "what-might- 
be" through an appreciation of the "what-once-was," St. 
Mary's-as female seminary, high school, junior college, 
and senior college— has used the rich, varied wisdom of 
the traditional liberal arts as the basis for evaluating the 
past and preparing for ever new futures. If this special 
school IS today regarded as an innovative model for colle- 
giate education in the twenty-first century, it is because 
it has stayed forever young by embracing a heritage that 
kept alive the optimistic dreams of those first Maryland 
pioneers, who forged a bright future with the spirit of 
daring, confident, youthful adventure. 



There was a wind over England and it blew. 

There was a wind through the nations and it blew. 

Strong, resistless the ivind of the western star, 

The wind from the coasts of hope, from the barely -known, 

And, under its blowing, Plymouth and Jamestown sink 

To the small, old towns, the towns of the oldest graves. 

Notable, remembered, but not the same. 

—Stephen Vincent Benet, Western Star 



ST. MARY'S CITY, HAVEN OF HOPE: 

The Seventeenth Century as Prologue 



CHAPTER I 



Strong bonds of place and principle link St. Mary's 
College to the first Maryland settlement and cap- 
ital at St. Mary's City. The seed of the present College, 
St. Mary's Female Seminary, was founded in 1840 to 
"cherish the remembrance of great events and sacred 
places . . . connected with the early history of our 
ancestors," and the legislature required that this Monu- 
ment School be built on the very spot "where [Euro- 
pean] civilization and Christianity were first introduced 
into our State." Maryland's original capital had begun 
its precipitous decline exactly 150 years before the crea- 
tion of the Seminary and had long since disappeared by 
the time the school was built in 1845. It was the Monu- 
ment School that brought new life to St. Mary's City 
and reawakened interest in the long-obscured legacy 
of the Calverts. Considering the timeless bonds that 
connect the young College to the ancient capital, it 
is essential that this sesquicentennial history begin 
with the significant seventeenth-century heritage of St. 
Mary's City. 

In the "Beginning" 

Although Southern Maryland had been visited by In- 
dian bands and farmed by native villagers for thousands 
of years prior to English settlement, the wider world 



Freedo?)! of Conscience Monument, St. Mary's College. 
Designed by sculptor Hans Schuler, this statue was erected 
for Maryland's Tercentenary in 1934 to commemorate the 
first practice of religious toleration in America. 



first learned of the region through the experiences of 
Captam Henry Fleet (1600-1660). Raised near the 
Thames River in Chatham, Kent, a London suburb fa- 
mous for its royal dockyards and the overseas adven- 
tures of Sir Francis Drake and Sir John Hawkins, young 
Fleet came to the Chesapeake in 1621 with his second 
cousin, 'Virginia Governor Sir Francis Wyatt. Just six 
months after his arrival at Jamestown, the Powhatan In- 
dian Uprising of 22 March 1622 nearly destroyed En- 
gland's only Southern colony, and the following year, 
Fleet was captured by other Algonquians while explor- 
ing the Potomac River. He spent the next four years 
living and learning among the Nacotchtank tribe along 
the Anacostia River and quickly became an expert in 
the Indian dialects and customs of the Southern Mary- 
land area. 

Captain Fleet was the first known Englishman to 
reside at the future site of St. Mary's City, for his quest 
for beaver pelts between 1627 and 1632 frequently 
brought him to the villages of the Yoacomacoes, nestled 
along both banks of the St. Mary's River at Horseshoe 
Bay. Fleet's knowledge of England's insatiable demand 
for furs and of the Indians' growing desire for European 
products made him the earliest intermediary between 
the boardrooms of London financiers and the beaver- 
dams of the Chesapeake. Long before there was a Mary- 
land or a Monument School, education was an impor- 
tant activity in this region, bridging cultural frontiers 
on the site of St. Mary's City. The Yoacomacoes taught 
Fleet the delicate etiquette of native trading, while he 
taught these traditional "deer Indians," who ate beaver 



but discarded the thick pelts as useless in a warm cli- 
mate, how to preserve those furs for the lucrative hat 
markets of Europe. 

Having gained the trust of skillful native trappers. 
Captain Fleet and his three brothers were soon prosper- 
ing in mercantile activities that took them to far-flung 
ports of call from the Canaries to the Caribbean. Trans- 
porting Chesapeake maize to Boston, North Atlantic 
fish to Virginia, beaver pelts to London, and European 
products to Potomac River Indians, Henry Fleet en- 
joyed the kind of commercial success that breeds jeal- 
ousy. In 1632, his fellow Kentishman, Captain William 
Claiborne, Secretary of State of Virginia and Com- 
mander of Kent Island (a rival trading base for beaver 
pelts established the year before), used his considerable 
political influence among Jamestown officials to disrupt 
Fleet's Potomac River enterprise. Only with the arrival 
of the first Maryland colonists two years later would 
Henry Fleet find the patronage and protection he 
needed to continue his entrepreneurial activities. 

When the Ark and Dove brought the first 150 Mary- 
land colonists into the Potomac River in early Spring 
1634, Governor Leonard Calvert (1606-1647) imme- 
diately recognized Captain Fleet's invaluable frontier 
talents and hired him to find an appropriate site for set- 
tlement. No other English colony began with such an 
advantage, for Fleet ably instructed Governor Calvert in 
the intricacies of Algonquian diplomacy, served as his 
translator in negotiations with the Piscataway "em- 
peror" and regional chieftains, and ultimately guided 
him to the Yoacomaco lands, where he had so often re- 
ceived hospitality. "Skillful in the tongue and well be- 
loved of the natives," Fleet was the only Englishman 
who knew that this small Piscataway tribe was most 
anxious to abandon the future site of St. Mary's City in 
exchange for protection against the perennial, devastat- 
ing raids of the powerful Susquehannocks— Claiborne's 
allies and trading partners from the head of the Bay. 

One look at the Yoacomaco site convinced the Cal- 
vert colonists that this was an ideal location for the capi- 
tal of their province. The Reverend Andrew White, 
S.J. , described it as "a noble seat" with "as good ground 
as I suppose is in all Europe." Accessible to the Pot- 
omac, "the sweetest and greatest river" that Father 
White had ever seen, the waterfront site featured "two 
excellent bayes" that he predicted could "harbor 300 
saile of 1000 tunne a peece with very great safete" and 
offered a high, defensible bluff that could easily be for- 
tified to repulse intruders. Governor Calvert recognized 
a bargain when he saw one, and he quickly purchased 
thirtie miles" of this "primest parcell" for "Hatchetts, 
Axes, Howes, and Clothes"-products that the Indians 



had come to value thanks to the prior commercializa- 
tion of the area by Fleet. According to traditional ac- 
counts, this first and most vital real estate transaction m 
Maryland history took place under the boughs of an im- 
posing and now-famous mulberry tree, which remained 
standing until 1883. 

On 21 March 1634, all of the Maryland colonists 
left their temporary lodgings on St. Clement's Island 
and disembarked at the new capital of St. Mary's City. 
Finding the "ayre wholesome and pleasant" along this 
"very bould shoare," they started their settlement un- 
der the best conditions of any English colony, for the 
Yaocomacoes left them rich fields already seeded with 
maize and bark-and-reed longhouses to protect them 
from the elements. In addition, those friendly, helpful 
Indians remained nearby, residing across the river at 
"Pagan Point," and continued to assist the settlers in 
their transition to a new American future. Father White 
believed the warm welcome extended by the Yoacoma- 
coes was "miraculous, " but Captain Fleet and Governor 
Calvert realized that the willingness of the colonists to 
"conforme ... to the Customs of . . . [the] Coun- 
trey" and to treat the Indians fairly had provided this 
hopeful beginning in intercultural cooperation. 

From its first days, the new Maryland colony actually 
practiced the liberal principles of interracial harmony 
that were just then being popularized by farsighted En- 
glish intellectuals. In his 1624 Encouragement to Colonies. 
Sir William Alexander, a Scottish nobleman at the 
court of Charles I, admonished English colonists to 
"possesse" lands in America "without dispossessing 
. . . others," for the "ruine" of Indians "could give us 
neither glory nor benefit." A fellow courtier. Sir Francis 
Bacon, had advocated a similar policy in his essay "Of 
Plantations " (1625). Influenced by the brutal, wasteful 
Indian wars in Virginia, Bacon advised "plantation in a 
pure soil; that is, where people are not displanted 
... for else it is rather an extirpation than a planta- 
tion." Combining idealistic principles with practical 
concerns, the Calvert colonists became the first Eng- 
lishmen to offer "kind and faire usage" to natives living 
in close proximity, for the Marylanders and the Piscata- 
ways could only survive as allies against their common, 
stronger enemies- the hostile Virginia Protestants and 
the fierce Susquehannocks. 

Church and State in Early Maryland 
While the Maryland pioneers enjoyed harmonious rela- 
tions with their Indian neighbors, they faced almost 
constant hostility from their fellow countrymen in Vir- 
ginia, who regarded them as religious deviants and 
economic competitors. The Calvert family knew only 



too well rhe harmtul divisivcness and discrimination 
that religious ditterenccs engendered, tor Sir George 
Calvert's conversion to Roman Catholicism in the mid- 
1620s had cost him his powerfid position as Secretary of 
State and Privy Councillor to King James I. In a nation 
that had regarded heresy as treason and equated Cathol- 
icism with disloyalty since Henry VIH's break with 
Rome in rhe 1530s, neither Calvert's faithful service to 
James I nor his long friendship with Charles 1 could pre- 
serve his governmental offices against a suspicious Par- 
liament and a hostile Protestant public. Retiring from 
court with the title of First Baron Baltimore, Calvert 
used his money and influence to establish a refuge 
where fellow English Catholics might live prosperously 
and worship peacefully. Before his death in April 1632, 
he conceived the unique charter that would create the 
proprietary province of Maryland as a haven of hope for 
oppressed Catholics. 



The Second Baron Baltmiore, (^ecil (Calvert ( KiO*)- 
1675), was granted the charter for Maryland on 20 June 
1632 and began to turn his father's dreams into reality 
as the first lord proj-)rietor of rhe province. Conspicuous 
in his own Catholicism as the heir of George Calvert and 
the son-in-law of Thomas, First Baron Arundell of War- 
dour, the young Lord Baltimore was determined to cre- 
ate a colony that would appeal to the principles of his 
friends and address the prejudices of his enemies. The 
near-regal powers of the proprietary charter allowed 
hnn to introduce English Catholicism to America 
through the immigration of Jesuits and to practice tol- 
erant nonsectarianism by not establishing any denomi- 
nation as the official faith of the province. Maryland 
thus began as a unique and radical experiment in the 
separation of church and state, tor throughout the west- 
ern world, governments had long assumed they could 
and should control the spiritual beliefs of their subjects. 



/ lan^-JJ^ i-P 'ft^'- 
T^lARr LAND 

Or Xiu. 

TjoJiimorJ 
TCantatu>n- mere 
irainia. 




"A Land-skip {landscape) aj the Pyotime oj Mary Land. " ca. 7666. piibinimi in Gii/ri^e Alsap's A Character of the 
Province of Mary-Land . . . (London. I(i(i6}: Jmm the edition oj the Maryland Historical Society. Fund Publication 
No. 15 (Baltimore. 1880). This rare, crude map shows the larieties of game animals that attracted Virginia fur traders 
like Henry Fleet and William Claiborne to the northern Chesapeake. 




Leonard Calvert Monument, Trinity Episcopal Churchyard, 
St. Mary's City. The 36-foot obelisk was erected by the 
State of Maryland in 1890, on the site of the "Old Mul- 
berry Tree, " to memorialize the founder of St. Mary's City 
and Maryland's first governor {1654-1647 )■ 



In declaring human conscience to be free from the coer- 
cion of poHtics, Cecil Calvert hoped to end a violent 
century of carnage that had produced "Fights, Frights, 
[and] Flights" in the name of religion. 

Lord Baltimore's convictions were conveyed to his 
brother Leonard as the first Maryland expedition pre- 
pared to sail for the Chesapeake in late November 1633- 
Because Catholic settlers would be vastly outnumbered 
by Protestants in the cramped quarters of the Ark, Cecil 
Calvert thought it imperative that the endangered mi- 
nority preserve "peace and unity" by "suffer[ing} no 
scandall or offence to be given" through proselytizing 
or public worship. His written "Instructions" to this ef- 
fect explain why the colonists, who had been in the Po- 
tomac River for three weeks, did not celebrate a public 
Mass of thanksgiving until 25 March 1634. Even the 
most vehement antipapists could not object too stren- 
uously to this commemoration of "Lady Day" (Feast of 
the Annunciation), which all English Christians then 



recognized as the first day of the new year. 

Once the colonists had arrived at St. Mary's City, 
the Calverts sought to preserve interpersonal harmony 
and intracolonial unity through an official policy of 
nonsectarianism. They encouraged Catholics and Prot- 
estants to share a common chapel and denied special re- 
ligious privileges and immunities to the Jesuits, even 
though they were major investors in the province. 
Thus, according to historian Henry Kamen, St. Mary's 
City became "the first colony in the New World, and 
indeed in the history of the Christian world, to be 
established on the foundation of complete religious 
liberty " 

But enlightened principles of interracial and inter- 
denominational cooperation could not alone control the 
destiny of the province. From the mid- to late-l630s, 
Lord Baltimore engaged Captain Claiborne in battles 
legal and lethal for control of Kent Island and the key 
beaver territories in the northern Chesapeake. Through- 
out the turbulent decades of the English Civil Wars 
(1642-1649) and the revolutionary Puritan Republic 
(r649-l660), military aggression and political oppres- 
sion exacerbated the problems of the fledgling province 
and brought bloodshed to the once-hopeful shores of St. 
Mary's City. In 1642, Claiborne's Susquehannock allies 
raided settlements only seven miles from the capital 
and initiated a ten-year war with the Marylanders, dur- 
ing which the Virginia loyalists on Kent Island twice 
revolted against Lord Baltimore's authority. In February 

1645, Captain Richard Ingle, piratical master of the 
ship, Reformation, invaded St. Mary's City in the name 
of the Puritan Parliament, intending to crush the al- 
leged "tyrannical power" of the Calverts. During the 
"Plundering Time" of the next two years, his brigands 
and discontented Protestant servants vandalized Cath- 
olic homesteads throughout St. Mary's City. In late 

1646, Governor Calvert finally returned to the capital 
and dispersed the invaders with the assistance of mer- 
cenaries from Virginia. 

Leonard Calvert died in May 1647 before he could 
fully restore stable government, and with his passing, 
the province was plunged into still more crises. The 
presence of unpaid Protestant mercenaries encamped at 
St. Mary's City created a volatile situation, which was 
addressed by a most revolutionary proposal. On Friday, 
21 January 1648, Mistress Margaret Brent (ca. 1601- 
ca. 1671), a wealthy resident of the capital and the ex- 
ecutrix of Governor Calvert's estate, appeared before the 
General Assembly meeting at "St. John's," the home of 
John Lewger. On a spot that is today located behind the 
President's House on campus, she requested a seat in the 
Assembly "for her selfe and voyce allso ... as his 



Lordships Attorney." When this shocking petition for 
equal poHtical participation was denied, "Mistress 
Brent protested against all proceedings in this present 
Assembly, unlesse she may be present and have vote." 
Undeterred, this first American activist for female suf- 
frage moved decisively to save the struggling colony. 
She sold cattle belonging to Leonard Calvert and Lord 
Baltimore in order to pay the mercenary troops and thus 
removed the "intoUerable Yoke" of marauding troops. 
Although the assemblymen had denied her voice and 
vote because of her sex, they praised her leadership abil- 
ities, reporting to Lord Baltimore on 21 April 1649 "that 
it was better for the Collonys safety at that time [to be in 
her hands} then in any mans, ... for the Soldiers 
would never have treated any other with that Civility 
and respect. . . . She rather deserved favour and thanks 
. . . then . . . bitter invectives . . . against her." 

The Calverts survived the assaults on their sov- 
ereignty and property in the late l640s, but the Prov- 
ince of Maryland changed greatly under crisis condi- 



tions. By the time the English Civil Wars ended with 
Charles I's defeat, imprisonment, and execution (1649), 
pro-Parliamentary Puritan emigres from Virginia had 
effectively taken control of Maryland's destiny Escaping 
from the Anglican orthodoxy of Virginia, they estab- 
lished large communities along the Severn and Patuxent 
rivers, and this new immigration, combined with the 
flight of many original Catholic settlers- including 
Margaret Brent and her siblings-soon gave them a ma- 
jority of Maryland's population. Seeking to preserve the 
interdenominational harmony that had generally ex- 
isted within the colony since 1634, Lord Baltimore con- 
vinced a bipartisan Assembly to pass the famous "Act of 
Toleration" (officially called "An Act concerning Re- 
ligion") on 21 April 1649. This significant statute was 
the first colonial law to guarantee freedom of religion for 
all Christians and the first document in American his- 
tory to require a majority population to respect and pro- 
tect the rights of an unpopular religious minority. 
Maryland was the only place in the English-speaking 



The Feminist Challenge of Margaret Brent 

Friday 21th Jan. 1647{8} 
The Genera// Assembly he/d att St. Johns. 

Came Mistress Margarett Brent and requested to have vote 
in the bowse for her se/fe and voyce al/sofor that att the /ast 
Court id Jan: it was ordered that the said Mistress Brent 
was to be /ookd uppon and received as his Lordships {Ceci/ 
Calvert's} Attorney. The Governor denyed that the said 
Mistress Brent shou/d have any vote in the howse. And the 
said Mistress Brent protested agamst a// proceedings in this 
present Assembly, unlesse shee may be present and have vote 
as aforesaid. 

-Source: William Hand Browne, ed. , Archivei of Maryland 
(Baltimore, 1883), I, 215. 

Margaret Brent was a remarkable woman. Arriving 
in Maryland in 1638, she and her sister Mary (two of 
the thirteen Brent siblings) patented seventy acres at 
"Sisters Freehold," along the river south of Gover- 
nor's Field and the Chapel Lands. In addition to 
being rebuffed by the General Assembly in 1648 and 
praised by it in 1649, Margaret Brent patented nearly 
1, 100 acres and served as guardian for Mary Kittama- 
quund, the baptized "Empress of Piscataway. " About 
1650, the Brents left Maryland to settle in Virginia's 
Northern Neck, where Margaret died on her planta- 
tion, "Peace," about 1671. Historian Lois Green Carr 



has written that "her brief public career has more im- 
portance in the history of Maryland than in the his- 
tory of women; nevertheless, the men who served 
with her evidently felt that it was not only her 
strength but also her womanliness that inspired 'Ci- 
vility and respect' and saved the day." 

-Source: Edward T. James, et al., eds., Notable American 
Women. 1607-1950: A Biographical Dictionary (Cambridge, 
Mass., 1971), 236-237. 




Memorial to Margaret Brent, Governor's Field, Historic 
St. Mary's City. This commemorative has relief of Mistress 
Brent before the Assembly was created by sculptor Mary 
dePakh of Avenue. Maryland, and is part of the gazebo- 
garden complex erected in 1984 by the statewide "Friends 
of Margaret Brent. " 



world where Catholics could worship openly without 
persecution, since even England's own "Act ot Tolera- 
tion" in 1689 only perpetuated discrimination against 
them for almost another two centuries. 

Unfortunately, the liberal principles of Lord Balti- 
more faced determined opposition from power-brokers 
in London and Jamestown who were still hostile to the 
Maryland Catholics. On 26 March 1652, Cecil Calvert's 
old nemesis, William Claiborne, successfully invaded 
St. Mary's City with a Parliamentary fleet sent by Oliver 
Cromwell to "reduce all the plantations within the Bay 
of Chespiak to their due obedience" to England's Pu- 
ritan regime. Claiborne replaced all officials loyal to the 
Calverts with former or present Virginia Puritans, and 
within a few weeks, his newest English supporters had 
negotiated an enlightened treaty with the Susquehan- 

^ 



The "Act of Toleration," 21 April 1649 

Forasmuch as in a ivell governed and Christian Common 
Wealth matters concerning Religion and the honor of God 
ought in the first place to bee taken into serious considera- 
tion and endeavoured to bee settled: Be it therefi)re ordered 
and enacted by the Right Honorable Cecilius Lord Baron 
of Baltemore absolute Lord and Proprietary of this 
Province with the Advise and consent of this Generall 
Assembly . . . 

{T}hat whatsoever person or persons shall from hence- 
forth uppon any occasion of Offence or otherwise in a re- 
proachful manner or Way declare, call, or denominate any 
person or persons whatsoever . . . an heritick. Scis- 
matick, Idolator. puritan. Independent. Prespiterian. 
popish priest, Jesuite, Jesuited papist, Lutheran, Cal- 
venist, Anabaptist. Brownist. Antinomian, Barroivist, 
Roundhead. Separatist, or any other name or terme 
. . . relating to matter of Religion shall for every such 
Offence forfeit . . . tenne shillings sterling. 

Be It Therefore also . . . Ordeyned and enacted . . . 
that noe person or persons whatsoever within this Province, 
. . . professing to beleive in Jesus Christ, shall from 
henceforth bee any waies troubled, Molested, or discounte- 
nanced for or in respect of his or her religion nor in the free 
exercise thereof . . . nor any way compelled to the beleife 
or exercise of any other Religion against his or her 
consent. . . . 

[Confirmed by Cecil Calvert, Second Baron Baltimore, 
the Lord Proprietor of Maryland, on 26 August 1650] 

-Source: William Hand Browne, ed.. Archives of Mary- 
land, (Baltimore, 1883), I, 244-247. 



nocks, his oldest Indian allies. It was an ironic comment 
on the process of American acculturation that the Vir- 
ginia invaders recognized the racially different "Nation 
and State of Sasquehanogh" after they had extinguished 
the legal rights of their fellow counrrymen in Mary- 
land. Claiborne's supporters soon voided the Toleration 
Act of 1649 and subjected Catholics and Anglicans to 
religious persecution and political disenfranchisement. 
In addition, Maryland's new Puritan government 
moved the capital of the province across the Patuxent 
River and expunged "popish" names from the map, 
transforming St. Mary's County into "Potomac" in the 
mid-l650s. 

The repressive fanaticism of Maryland's Puritan ma- 
jority produced a violent backlash. On Sunday, 25 
March 1655, Lord Baltimore's deposed officials led their 
outnumbered Calvert loyalists against the forces of the 
anti-proprietary Puritans in the bloody Battle of the 
Severn. In this Sabbath-day slaughter on the feast day 
commemorating Christ's conception- the twenty-first 
anniversary of the first Mass in Maryland— several hun- 
dred well-armed colonists sought to resolve the issue of 
whom God favored in a most grotesque fashion. When 
the smoke of combat had cleared, the Puritans boasted 
about the heavy casualties inflicted on their Maryland 
neighbors and fellow Christians: "twenty slain, many 
wounded, and all the place strewed with Papist beads 
where they fled." After executing four prominent cap- 
tives, the victorious Puritans reported that "thus God 
our Strength appeared for us; and the blood which they 
[the Calvert forces] thirsted after in others, was given to 
themselves to drink. . . . This is rhe Lord's doing; it 
may well be marvellous in our eyes. " 

These shocking atrocities helped quell the revolu- 
tionary passions of fanatical Puritans on both sides of 
the Atlantic. Following a thorough review of the decades- 
old Calvert-Claiborne struggle for conrrol of Maryland, 
even Lord Protector Cromwell was convinced that Lord 
Baltimore's charter rights should be restored. Cecil Cal- 
vert signed a formal peace treaty with his Virginia ad- 
versaries on 30 November 1657, in which he guaran- 
teed a blanket amnesty and the legalization of land titles 
for his rebellious Puritan subjects. Most significantly. 
Lord Baltimore reaffirmed the tolerant policies of 1649, 
"whereby all persons professing to beleeve in Jesus 
Christ have freedom of Conscience." This liberal reaffir- 
mation of religious toleration ironically helped those 
who had once fought hardest to defeat it, for many lead- 
ing Maryland Puritans had converted to Quakerism by 
1660 and came to appreciate that the Calverts' province 
was the one place in the English-speaking world where 
Quakers were free "to be governed by Gods lawe & the 



16 



light within them" without tear ot repression or 
execution. 

The Golckn Age of St. Mary's City 
By 1660, when the Stuart dynasty was restored to En- 
gland's throne and the Calverts reasserted their lull au- 
thority in Maryland, the province had experienced two 
decades of terror and turmoil. Compared to those dis- 
heartening days, the next thirty years were to be a 
golden age of peace, progress, and prosperity for St. 
Mary's City-the first, and unfortunately the last, time 
in the colonial era when all ot Maryland's citizens had 
the full opportunity to seek their tortunes in an at- 
mosphere of freedom. 

Although St. Mary's City never became the ma)or 
port and population center envisioned by Lord Balti- 
more-due to the lure ot good tobacco lands along the 



many distant creeks and rivers-the capital did experi- 
ence a steady development after 1660 that reflected the 
province's new spirit of energy and enterprise. In 1642, 
when Maryland's English population was a mere 400, 
about a quarter of the settlers lived within the two 
square miles ot fields and forests that were known as the 
St. Mary's "townlands." This 1,200-acre site at that 
time featured a mill, a forge, a chapel, and perhaps ten 
homes, but these frame dwellings were generally crude 
and impermanent, quickly rotting because ot their 
post-in-ground "foundations" or often burning because 
of wooden chimneys and tarred roofs. Before 1660, the 
capital contained only two substantial structures, both 
dating to the first decade of settlement- the "Country's 
House" of Leonard Calvert (40 X 67 feet) and "St. 
John's," built by Secretary of State John Lewger (20 X 
52 feet). But over the next thirty years, the growing 




Rt:uin\tr/uUil SutL House oj l()76. Histurn St. \\j)]\ (.//), inJal l'\ thi Stjk «/ ,\f /r)A/;/7 /<-/■ //> Itni/zloh/r] i.iUhij- 
tion m 1934. The original building, the colony's capitol from l(i76 to 169), stood near Trinity Episcopal Church, which 
was built with its bricks in 1829. 



17 



influence and affluence of St. Mary's City resulted in the 
construction of more and better buildings. These in- 
cluded several inns, lawyers' offices, William Nuthead's 
printing shop, and four notable brick structures: a 
small prison (ca. 1676, located near today's College 
Boathouse), a massive Catholic chapel (ca. 1672), a sub- 
stantial schoolhouse (ca. 1677), and the impressive 
State House (1676), erected at a cost of 330,000 pounds 
of tobacco. 

From the early 1660s to the mid- 1680s, Calvert 
"nobility" located their residences at the provincial cap- 
ital, which contributed to an improved image of St. 
Mary's City. Philip Calvert (1626-1682), Cecil's young 
half-brother, came to Maryland in 1656 and for the next 
twenty-five years served in a variety of offices- 
governor, councillor, chancellor, chief justice ot the 
Provincial Court, and mayor of St. Mary's City. He re- 
sided on the 100-acre Pope's Freehold (located at what is 
now the Route 5 entrance of St. Mary's College) until 
1679, when construction was completed on his magnifi- 
cent brick proto-Georgian "Great House" (54 X 54 
feet) at St. Peter's Freehold. This regal residence, which 
apparently rivaled any contemporary structure in Brit- 
ish America, was literally blown to bits in a 1695 explo- 
sion of gunpowder that was stored in its basement. 
Charles Calvert (1637-1715), Cecil's son and heir, fol- 
lowed his uncle to Maryland in 1661 and served as gov- 
ernor until he became Third Lord Baltimore and second 
lord proprietor upon his father's death in 1675. From 
that date until 1684, Charles Calvert was the first and 
only Baron Baltimore ever to live more than a few 
months in Maryland. During his tenure at St. Mary's 
City, he resided at St. John's from 1661 to 1667 and 
thereafter lived at Mattapany-Sewall, the "fair House of 
Brick and Timber" he built along the Patuxent River. 

At the point of its maximum growth and greatest 
influence in the early l680s, St. Mary's City was, ac- 
cording to archaeologist Henry Miller, "apparently the 
first example of a Baroque-designed community in the 
English-speaking world." Although the capital was 
still a small, compact village of fewer than twenty sub- 
stantial structures, the placement of public buildings 
conformed to an innovative "Baroque Plan" of geo- 
metric design that emphasized symbolic significance. 
Recent archaeological research has revealed a symmetri- 
cal arrangement in which the bases of two equal tri- 
angles linked four important structures (the State 
House to the prison and the Catholic Chapel to the 
Jesuit schoolhouse), while the vertex of each triangle 
met in the town center, close to the present Brome- 
Howard House. Near the focus of the colonists' daily 
activities in St. Mary's City hut farthest apart from each 



other were the Catholic Chapel (a cruciform building, 
55x57 feet), standing on the City's highest hill, and 
the State House (a cruciform building, 45 X 61 feet), 
standing on the prominent bluff above Church Point 
exactly a halt-mile away. Thus, this ingenious first ex- 
ample of Baroque town planning in British America 
sent a clear message that was consistent with Calvert 
principles: church and state were the most important 
influences in a civilized society, making equal claims on 
the loyalty of citizens, but they were to be separated and 
kept far apart for the benefit of both and the good of all. 
(The only other English Baroque towns in colonial 
America, Annapolis and Williamsburg, sent contrast- 
ing messages of church-state connection, as is evident in 
the former's State Circle and Church Circle.) 

The Intellectual Life of the Early Colony 
Because of the Calverts' early emphasis on recruiting 
wealthy Catholic gentlemen and their consistent efforts 
to encourage immigrants ot diverse backgrounds to set- 
tle in Maryland, St. Mary's City was more cosmopolitan 
and intellectually sophisticated than its small size 
would imply. Several important colonists had graduated 
from Cecil Calvert's alma mater, Oxford University, in- 
cluding Fulke Brent, brother of Margaret Brent, and 
Robert Brooke, a major landowner and justice of the 
Provincial Court. Secretary of State Lewger obtained a 
B.A. from Trinity College, Oxford, where he taught 
before emigratmg to Maryland. This trusted councillor 
and talented officeholder was successively ordained an 
Anglican minister and a Catholic priest in the course of 
a long career. Other early colonists received legal educa- 
tions at London's Inns of Courts in Chancery Lane. The 
extensive libraries of some St. Mary's City residents also 
revealed broad intellectual interests, although the col- 
leges they attended are not easily identified. Dr. Luke 
Barber, for instance, had a collection of eighty-two 
books in English, fifty in Latin, and forty-three in 
French in the mid-seventeenth century. 

Although formal schooling was a rare luxury in a 
small, rural society of dispersed plantations, in which a 
majority of men and nearly all women were illiterate 
and trained only in manual occupations, the presence of 
Jesuit priests provided seventeenth-century Maryland 
with more intellectual stimulation and educational op- 
portunities than other southern colonies. Father An- 
drew White, S.J. (1579-1656), called the "Apostle of 
Maryland," was one of the first four Jesuits to emigrate 
to the Calvert colony, and his impressive educational 
credentials prepared him to minister to both English 
and Indian populations. Born in London, he was edu- 
cated at St. Alban's College, an English Catholic semi- 



18 



Map of St. Mary's City as 
a "Baroque City, " ca. 
1680. based 0)1 the research 
of Dr. Henry M. Miller. 
Senior Archaeologist oj His- 
toric St. Mary's City, and 
his staff. Originally pub- 
lished in a slightly different 
version in Henry M. Miller, 
"Baroque Cities in the Wil- 
derness: Archaeology and 
Urban Development in the 
Colonial Chesapeake. " His- 
torical Archaeology, Vol. 
XXII, No. 2 (1988), 
p. 63. and reprinted with 
his permission. No. 1 on the 
map refers to the town cen- 
ter: No. 2 to the conjectured 
location of the brick school in 
Mill Field. 




nary in Valladolid, Spain, and at the Jesuit novitiate of 
St. John in Louvain, France. After his ordination. Fa- 
ther White was a professor of theology, sacred scripture, 
Greek, and Hebrew at Louvain and Liege. Arriving in 
Maryland in 1634, he wrote important books about the 
early colony and translated several sacred texts into the 
Piscataway Algonquian dialect. 

While Father White had great success in converting 
local Indians to Catholicism, other Jesuits served the 
needs of the colonial population. By 1650, the Reverend 
Lawrence Starkey, S.J. , and Ralph Crouch were proba- 
bly operating a privately endowed school at St. Inigoes 
or St. Mary's City, and seven years later. Crouch was 
teaching children of all faiths at Newtown Manor. 
Jesuits also ran a Latin grammar school at Newtown 
Manor-which sent its most promising students to the 
English semmary at St. Omer, Flanders-and a girls' 
academy in Port Tobacco, which sent its graduates to 
convents in France and Flanders. Of potentially greater 
significance was the large brick "School of the Human- 
ities" at St. Mary's City. Archaeological evidence sug- 
gests that it was located in Mill Field, not far from the 



Catholic Chapel and the present College campus, and 
that it was only the fourth brick building in the capital 
city. Jesuit priests probably conducted classes here until 
Catholic churches and schools were banned in 1704. 

The Death of Old St. Mary's City 
The golden age ot the capital city ended abruptly after 
only three decades, aborted by the political jealousy and 
religious prejudice of a large Protestant underclass that 
did not share the ideals and prosperity of the Catholic 
elite. In 1689, some 22,000 whites lived in Maryland, 
triple the figure of 1660, and probably three-fourths of 
them were at least nominally Anglican (an estimated 13 
percent were Roman Catholics and 13 percent Quakers). 
Vocal Anglican critics reported to the Bishop ot London 
that Maryland was "becom[ing] a Sodom of uncleanness 
and a Pest house of iniquity," because the Calverts' per- 
sistent policy of allowing all faiths but funding none 
had, in effect, created a secular society that left the 
Protestant majority almost entirely unchurched and 
susceptible to "Popery, Quakerism or Phanaticisme." 
The "tyrannical yoake of papacy" was blamed for per- 



MH- 



Mathiasvtfl 

A f r i c a n a'n u(. , . „ , 

i n d e n t u r e'd/^s'Sj'firhn^sv Bro""^ 

missionaries va'n''(fk?waS: 'on tti« 







^^ 






expedition arfifli'ln ttie ' St!~'Ii(lry:$$Rt, 

indenture .wasVfihished by 1638 and'tfel'tb, 

and fur trader, jn 1641 he conimanded'^...-.._.a 

nortH to the Susquehannock Indians ahd,^^Wr642:^lailta;^ 

as master of a ketch belonging; toM|_^j;annc^i;a[^ 

Secretai-y John Lewger. De Sousa deftirfW 

to this river many times. ■ He ancliciV? 

walked to Lew'ger's Manor ilo'ase-iVSfi^'^oi 

living there tie served in tfife 16# legislative 'is 

freemen. No record remaifis of de Sousa'C;«cii^ 

itfte-f 1642 but his legacy of- courage aiidstVcVL 

regarded with gffeat pride iy 'all. Jtte/cifliiSflJOlPI 

MaryV County arid Marylaad, -.::^: : ;: ;' -"i, 

Placed it a, "Mary's Cltyf'KSflflattd ->S 

By tBe St. MaryV CSttBtf 350tH C«Hlii«liBfl COinmiffet. '1 



Memorial to Mat bias de Sousa. the first black legislator 
in the English-speaking world, Historic St. Mary's City. 
This plaque, with has relief created by Mary dePakh of 
Avenue. Maryland, was erected in 1987 to commemorate 
the 330th anniversary of St. Mary's County. 



verting politics in the province, because Cecil Calvert 
and Charles Calvert since 1660 had created a ruling 
oligarchy of wealthy, trusted Catholic friends and fam- 
ily members in an effort to prevent the destabilizing 
upheavals that had plagued Maryland in the I640s and 
l650s. Politically and religiously impotent, the large 
Anglican majority resented this monopoly of power and 
privilege and grew increasingly paranoid about an al- 
leged alliance between Lord Baltimore, the Catholic 
King James II (son of Charles I), his patron, Louis XIV 
of France, and the many Jesuit-converted Indians in 
Maryland and French Canada. 

When Lord Baltimore failed to declare Maryland's 
support of the Glorious Revolution (November 1688- 
February 1689), which had replaced James II with the 
Protestant William III and Mary II, discontented colo- 
nists John Coode, Nehemiah Blackistone, and Kenelm 
Cheseldyne led 700 armed and angry rebels into St. 
Mary's City on 27 July 1689 and toppled the Calvert 
government. This "Protestant Rebellion" brought the 
final political downfall of the Calverts and resulted in 



the imposition of royal authority and the establishment 
of Anglicanism as the sole legal religion in Maryland. 
After the arrival of Royal Governor Sir Lionel Copley at 
St. Mary's City in 1692, no Catholic could vote or hold 
office, and every citizen was taxed tor the support of the 
Anglican Church. In 1704, the all-Anglican Assembly 
passed the infamous "Act to Prevent the Growth of 
Popery, " which forced Catholics to worship and conduct 
their schools in secret, just as their ancestors had done 
in Elizabethan England. That same year, Maryland leg- 
islators imposed an exorbitant tax "to prevent the im- 
porting of too great a number of Irish Papists into this 
Province." Truly, the Glorious Revolution was no vic- 
tory for democratic liberalism in Maryland; only the 
American Revolution would restore the toleration and 
freedom that religious minorities had enjoyed in the 
province since 1634. 

Although lax enforcement often lessened the im- 
pact of discriminatory laws in the latter eighteenth cen- 
tury, the Catholics of Southern Maryland suffered the 
ultimate indignity and greatest economic deprivation 
when the new royal government in 1694 decided to re- 
locate the provincial capital to the "safer" Protestant 
area of Arundel Town, soon to be known as Annapolis. 
Despite pledges by St. Mary's City residents to make 
the "antient . . . Seate of Government" more conve- 
nient for the crowds that thronged here during the 
"Publick Times" of Assembly sessions, biased royal offi- 
cials were determined to build a new capital from 
scratch along the Severn River, where anti-Catholicism 
had flourished since the days of Claiborne's Providence 
allies. Ruling that "the Citty of St Maries is very 
Unequally Rankt with London [and] Boston," Royal 
Governor Sir Francis Nicholson and his Council in 1695 
relegated the once-prominent capital and the "Mother 
County of Maryland" to economic stagnation and politi- 
cal impotence. The government turned over the State 
House to the vestry of William and Mary Parish, and its 
subsequent use as an Anglican chapel truly symbolized 
the dangerous marriage of church and state that the 
Calverts had always opposed. In 1706, St. Mary's City 
even lost its status as the county seat, when the admin- 
istrative offices of local government were moved to 
Leonardtown. 

The Legacy of St. Mary's City 

The sudden demise of St. Mary's City ironically ensured 
its modern fame. Because the old capital quickly re- 
verted to sparsely settled fields and forests reminiscent 
of earlier Indian occupation, it survived as a unique 
time capsule, preserving the hidden archaeological 
treasures of an early, precious heritage unrivaled in 



20 



North America. In the HO years since concerned cit- 
izens memorialized the site with the creation of St. 
Mary's Female Seminary, the seventeenth-century leg- 
acy of St. Mary's City has assumed an even greater sig- 
nificance. Increasingly, scholars and the general public 
have realized that the principle of toleration, extended 
beyond religious disputes to include all types ot human 
rights, is as essential-and as controversial-in our late 
twentieth-century world as it ever was. Only since the 
1960s, with the election of the first Catholic president 
and the successful campaigns against racial, cultural, 
and sexual discrimination, have Americans fully appre- 
ciated the innovative liberalism of St. Mary's City's first 
century. 

Seventeenth-century Maryland was no paradise, 
with disease and deprivation on a rebellion-riddled 
frontier consigning all too many colonists to Hobbesian 
lives that were "solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and 
short." However, frequent disruption and premature 
death contributed to upward social mobility for vast 
numbers ot hopeful immigrants. Catholics, women, 
blacks, illiterate freemen, and poor servants got their 
first and only opportunities for economic success and 
political participation in this simple, crude, disaster- 
stalked society with a surplus of arable land and a short- 
age of available leaders. Margaret Brent's pioneering 
demands for equal political participation, while unique, 
overshadowed her success as a prosperous landowner 
and businesswoman— successes that other women also 
achieved in early Maryland. Similarly, the fame of 
Mathias de Sousa as the first black man to serve in an 
English-speaking legislature obscures the fact that 
other African-Americans enjoyed upward mobility in 
Maryland not as property but as owners of property. 

The crudeness and newness of Maryland's first fron- 
tier offered abundant opportunities for large numbers of 
settlers. Cecil Calvert's dream of an aristocratic society 
dominated by manor lords could not be sustained in the 
land-rich province, where for much of the seventeenth 
century small farms predominated over large estates and 
many ex-servants attained the coveted status of free- 
holder. In contrast, the eighteenth-century "golden 
age" of huge plantations and beautiful brick mansions 
represented an end to frontier opportunity for all but a 
few wealthy, white, Anglo-Saxon male Protestants. 
This narrow gentry elite was responsible for the elegant 
planter culture that so captivates modern visitors to An- 
napolis and Williamsburg, but such a monopoly of af- 
fluence and influence came at a dreadful cost in abuse 
and intolerance. Indeed, what supported the "progress" 
of that "enlightened" century was racial, religious, 
cultural, and sexual discrimination. Rigid boundaries 



of class, creed, and color by 1700 resulted in the dis- 
possession of Indians, the disenfranchisement of Cath- 
olics, the debasement of women, the enslavement of 
Africans, and the exploitation of poor white laborers. 

The American Revolution at least partially estab- 
lished an improved political system that could correct 
such abuses, and it is significant that the founders of our 
republic rediscovered many of the liberal policies that 
the Calverts had pioneered 140 years before. The inno- 
vative ideals of the old capital were brought to reality 
again by the new nation and are now accepted as the 
traditional values of the American heritage. From its 
founding to the present, St. Mary's College has reflected 
that complex connection between innovation and tradi- 
tion, the past and the future. The Monument School 
has been a distinctive memorial to a unique place, and 
both the city and the college that were created at St. 
Mary's have shared an intangible bond of mutual in- 
spiration across the several centuries. 



Significant Firsts at St. Mary's City 

America's first English proprietary colony, 
21 March 1634 

America's first large-scale settlement of English 
Catholics, 11 March 1634 

America's first residence of English Jesuits, 
21 March 1634 

America's first English Catholic chapel, 1635 

America's first practice of church and state 
separation, 27 March 1634 

America's first law requiring religious toleration, 
21 April 1649 

America's first intercolonial, intercultural 
conference, June 1634 

America's first black legislator (Mathias de Sousa), 
23 March 1642 

America's first woman seeking equal rights 
(Margaret Brent), 21 January 1648 

America's first English Baroque city, 1670s 

America's first example of Georgian architecture 
(St. Peter's), 1679 

South's first printing press (William Nuthead), 
1685 



21 



St. Mary's! St. Mary's.' awake from thy slumbers, 
For footsteps are crowding thy late lonely plain: 

There rest on thy bosom no ruined old towers. 

No relics of pride that have battled with time; 

But the low simple hearths which the waving grass covers 

Have beautiful mem'ries of virtues sublime. 

For here breathed the spirit of ardent devotion, 

With freedom of conscience, a priceless bequest; 

Thy Calvert atid pilgrims for this braved the ocean. 

Then offered to others a haven of rest. 

Then list thee, St. Mary's! thou art not fjrsaken. 

Though long years have fhwn o'er thy sleep by the wave; 

For patriots' hearts have notv come to awaken 

The glorious past from a hallowed grave. 

New cities have risen, in grandeur and splendor 

In the beautiful land where thy dwellings first rose. 

But dearer the mem'ry, more thrilling, more tender. 

Of thee, on this spot of thy dreamless repose. 

-An "Ode" by Mrs. Mary A. Ford of" Philadelphia, 

sung at the fourth commemoration ot the 

landing ot the pilgrims ot Maryland, St. Mary's 

City, 15 May 1855, and published by the Philodemic 

Society of Georgetown College. 



22 



% 




'%. 





The St. Mary's River is very beautiful: and the 

choicest spot on its lovely banks is the site of its 

forgotten city. . . . (The) scenery is a picture of 

almost Italian beauty, and like the wizzard 

streams of that classic land, it is haunted by 

visions of the hoary past. 
— Emily Regina Jones of Cross Manor, ca. 1865 



EVER RISING FROM THE ASHES: 

St. Mary's Fe?nale Se?mnary, 1840—1923 



CHAPTER II 



St. Mary's City is today filled with many monu- 
ments and memorials to its significant colonial 
accomplishments, but the one that has lasted the long- 
est is not constructed of granite or marble. St. Mary's 
Female Seminary, the only school in America built on 
the founding site of any state as a living memorial to 
colonial forebears, retains both tangible and intangible 
links with the present and future after 150 years. As the 
seed of today's blossoming St. Mary's College, the Semi- 
nary in its formative years truly reflected the mixed 
legacy of Maryland's seventeenth century, sharing both 
its buoyant dreams and bitter disappomtments. Ever 
rising from the ashes of near extinction, the Seminary 
resembled the mythical phoenix in its frequent flirta- 
tions with death and subsequent rebirths during a tur- 
bulent first century. But survive it did, remaining a 
state-owned, secondary boarding school tor girls until 
June I960, despite the addition ot a coeducational 
junior college curriculum. "Female" remained in the 
name until 1949, and "Seminary" was retained until the 
institution was again reborn in 1964 as St. Mary's Col- 
lege of Maryland, on the verge of senior college status. 
This chapter will trace the Seminary seedling that im- 
parted impressive values and an indomitable spirit that 
are still prominent. 



Mrs. Theodora (nee Anderson) Norris, who attended St. 
Mary's Female Seminary in the early 1850s. Taken from 
a photographic memorial to the mother of Alice Norris 
(Airs. Frank J.) Parran. 



The Evolution of Public Education for Women 
Formal education of any kind developed very gradually 
and grudgingly in Maryland's first two centuries, given 
the predominance of farm households and rural occupa- 
tions, but the controversial concept ot public education 
tor women had an especially long gestation period. In a 
society dominated by plantation gentry, the first type ot 
schooling to emerge in Maryland was private prepara- 
tory and collegiate education for male elites, followed 
much later by denominational schools for girls, and fi- 
nally, with the founding ot St. Mary's Female Seminary, 
state-sponsored secondary education tor young women. 
Between 1750 and 1840, the elitism of the eighteenth- 
century Enlightenment universities gradually gave way 
to the egalitarianism of Jacksonian America; the princi- 
ple of nonsectarianism competed with the interests ot 
religious organizations; and individual states debated 
the priorities of providing advanced education tor the 
male electorate versus schooling an entire population in 
the basics. 

To understand the evolution of these conflicting 
perspectives, we must follow the development of educa- 
tion in eighteenth-century Maryland. During that cen- 
tury, the pioneering ettorts of a handtul ot Jesuit priests 
in the 1600s were eclipsed by the tull weight of the roy- 
alist church-state establishment that emerged after the 
"Protestant Rebellion" of 1689- Sir Francis Nicholson, 
who served as 'Virginia's royal governor both before and 
after his administration in Maryland, used his transat- 
lantic political, religious, and commercial connections 
to establish King William's School at the new capital of 



25 



Annapolis in 1696. Created by royal charter, funded 
by the Maryland Assembly, administered by the rector 
of St. Anne's Parish, and adjoining the State House 
grounds. King Williams School was a classical Angli- 
can academy designed to prepare young gentlemen lor 
advanced coursework at Williamsburg's new College of 
William and Mary and eventual ordination into the 
priesthood of the Church of England. For Governor 
Nicholson, who relocated the capitals of both Virginia 
and Maryland to new Baroque cities he designed, the 
patronage of the Annapolis academy and the Williams- 
burg college reflected his desire tor closer ties between 
London's crown-and-church hierarchy and the maturing 
culture of the Chesapeake planters. 



Revolutionary Thoughts on Education 

/ knuiv that the elevation of the female mind, by means of 
moral, physical, and religious truth, is considered by some 
men as unfriendly to the domestic character of a woman. 
But this is the prejudice of little minds and springs from 
the same spirit which opposes the general diffusion of 
knowledge among the citizens of our republic. . . . It will 
beinyourpotver. LADIES, to correct the mistakes . . .of 
our sex. . . by demonstrating that . . . the cultivation of 
reason in women is alike friendly to the order of nature 
and to private as well as public happiness. 

Women . . . should be instructed in the principles of lib- 
erty and government, and the obligations of patriotism 
should be inculcated upon them. The opinions and conduct 
of men are often regulated by women in the most arduous 
enterprises of life, {and} . . . the first impressions upon 
the minds of children are generally derived jrom the 

women. 

-Source: Dr. Benjamin Rush, Thoughts Upon Female Edu- 
cation (Boston, 1787) and Thoughts upon the Mode of Education 
Proper in a Republic (Philadelphia, 1786). 
# # # 

hi providing the means of public education, . . . it ought 
to excite the state legislature to attend particularly to those 
who are most likely to be deprived of the advantage of such 
an institution. . . . The foundation of the system {exists} 
in the establishment of proper or suitable introductory sem- 
inaries, rather than in converting the greater part of the 
public support to the temporary advancement of one or two 
schools or colleges. 

—Source: The Reverend Samuel Knox of Bladensburg, 
An Essay on the Best Systems of Liberal Education . . . {and} An 
Address to the Legislature of Maryland on That Subject (inhimoK. 
1799). 



In 1723 the Maryland Assembly sought to expand 
the influence of education throughout the province by 
passing the "Act for the Encouragement of Learning, 
and erecting Schools in the several Counties." This pi- 
oneering legislation set up twelve county boards of 
seven "Visitors" each (always to include an Anglican 
minister) and charged them with establishing one "free 
school" on the King William's model in their respective 
regions. Although the colony provided start-up ex- 
penses, these were in no way tuition-free public schools. 
Free only in the sense of "liberating" the minds of 
pupils through the disciplined study of the liberal arts, 
these county academies were generally limited to wealthy 
gentry sons who could afford to spend the money and 
take the time to study Greek, Latin, mathematics, 
"good Letters, and Manners." 

The St. Mary's County Free School received one 
hundred acres of donated land and operated with funds 
provided by a poll tax "on All Negroes," but little else is 
known about it. Perhaps because of small enrollments 
or the difficulty of finding qualified faculty, the Free 
Schools of St. Mary's, Charles, and Prince George's 
counties in 1774 merged trustees, funds, and functions 
to form Charlotte Hall School at "Ye Coole Springs" in 
northern St. Mary's County, site of a public sanitarium 
and popular health spa since 1698. 

Although six decades separated the founding of 
Charlotte Hall School for boys and the birth of St. 
Mary's Female Seminary at the other end of the county, 
the former established important precedents tor the lat- 
ter. First, Charlotte Hall's original board of trustees 
included prominent county leaders who affirmed mone- 
tary and moral support for local education. Second, 
these affluent trustees committed themselves to a board- 
ing school plan that was unprecedentedly ambitious 
and expensive tor Southern Maryland. (The original 
building, housing sixty boys, required 250,000 bricks. ) 
Third, the steady growth and long life of Charlotte Hall 
School, which operated successfully from 1797 through 
1976, indicated that even one of Maryland's most rural 
regions was capable of supporting a precollegiate educa- 
tion for boys-and would perhaps be inclined to do so 
tor girls in the future. 

St. Mary's Female Seminary was in many ways a 
sister institution to Charlotte Hall School, but the 
sixty-year delay in its founding reflected the enormous 
problems associated with public education in general 
and state-supported ivomen's education in particular. Al- 
though "sumptuously endowed schools for the sons of 
fortune" and the "slavish ignorance of the [common] 
people" had both been condemned by the idealism of 
the American Revolution, most state legislatures in 



26 




Trinity Episcopal Church in a rare nineteenth-century phutDgraph. Built i 
like this when St. Marys Female Seminary was constructed in 1844-43. 



1S29. the church uuiy hare appeared very much 



practice feared that the high academic standards of elit- 
ist colonial schools would be compromised by admit- 
ting an increasingly diverse population of all social 
classes and both sexes. In Maryland, the establishment 
of new nonsectarian institutions like Washington Col- 
lege in Chestertown (1782) and St. John's College in 
Annapolis (1784) had a much higher priority than the 
creation of a comprehensive system of statewide public 
education-which was proposed in 1826 but not imple- 
mented until 1865. 

Women in the early nineteenth century tound 
themselves largely ignored by male legislatures, much 
as Margaret Brent had been in her day. The lack of the 
vote and the belief that the "female mind" was incapa- 
ble of benefiting from the liberal arts resulted in state 
support of collegiate education for men over any educa- 
tion for women, and even the rudimentary schooling oi 
girls was often left to private entrepreneurs and re- 



ligious groups. (The Commonwealth of Massachusetts, 
which had produced the most notable "patriot mothers " 
campaigning for women's rights, waited until 1839 to 
establish the nation's first female public normal school.) 
While private, nonsectarian girls' academies prolifer- 
ated in the northern states-such as the influential Troy 
Female Seminary of Emma Hart Willard (1821) and 
Mount Holyoke Female Seminary of Mary Lyon ( 1837)- 
denominationally sponsored schools were predominant 
in the South. The Moravians, Methodists, Baptists, 
Presbyterians, and Catholics displayed a great enthusi- 
asm for founding girls' schools by the dozen, which 
helps explain why only 18 out of the 182 American in- 
stitutions established before I860 and surviving to reach 
college rank by 1932 were created by state governments. 
In this evolution of the educational prospects for 
young women, Maryland had an influential role to 
play-a role that reflected its unique amalgamation ot 



27 



"Southern" and "Northern" traits and its dual legacies 
as the birthplace of both tolerant nonsectarianism and 
English Catholicism in the New World. Atter the 
American Revolution, Maryland regained its special 
place in the forefront of tolerant pluralism when the 
Protestant Episcopal Church, the Methodist Episcopal 
Church, and the Roman Catholic Church were all in- 
stitutionalized as separate, independent American de- 
nominations within its borders. This reaffirmation of 
the liberal Calvert legacy particularly stimulated an im- 
portant Catholic renaissance after nearly a century of 
official discrimination. Again enjoying freedom of con- 
science and political participation, Maryland's 16,000 
Roman Catholics- representing two-thirds of all Amer- 
ican adherents in 1790-responded enthusiastically, es- 
pecially in the field of education. The Reverend John 
Carroll, S.J. , a native son in "Maryland's own" Jesuit 
Order, served as the first Catholic bishop in the United 

. (^^^^ 



A Resident's View of Old St. Mary's City 

Aleutian the city of {St.} Mane's, and the present genera- 
tion will ask when and where it was. The headstone is 
buried under the moss of many years, and the child plays 
in ignorance over the grave of his mother. Like some wear- 
ied aspirant in ambition's race, that short-lived city stole 
unnoticed from the course and died unwept, while her sis- 
ters have reached the goal of empire and wealth. 

It is strange, but it is true, that bosomed in these hills is 
the only spot in the western world where an Anglo-Saxon 
city once stood, not one foundation stone oj which is now in 
its original place. After the removal oj the capital to the 
present metropolis, the city pined and died, unnoticed and 
forgotten, like some heart-broken cjueen in the ruins of her 
palaces. 

{The State House) . . . is a shattered pile of bricks and 
mortar, overrun with weeds and vines, like Caesar's robe, 
covering the ingratitude oj bis jail. . . . Our venerable 
state mother is gone and forgotten. We have inherited the 
jruit oj her toil and her blood, and like heirs we have 
jorgotten the giver in the fruition (f the legacy. Few of her 
sons can point to her grave, fewer still have come to hang 
the pilgrim's cypress on her dismantled tomb. 

-Source: Emily Regina Jones of Cross Manor, mid- 
nineteenth century, quoted in The City (f St. Mann. Mjr^ljuJ: 
A Sliiry and Penonal Recnllections. ed. Eugene and Jean Ci. Rca 
(St. Mary's City; The Press of William Nuthead, 1982), 1, 2, 
6, 9-10. 



States (1790—1815), and from his position in the domi- 
nant archdiocese of Baltimore, he was mstrumental in 
founding several men's schools— Georgetown College 
(1789), St. Mary's Seminary (Baltimore, 1791), and 
Mount St. Mary's College (Emmitsburg, 1808)-as well 
as supporting Elizabeth Seton's creation ot St. Joseph's 
Academy tor women (Emmitsburg, 1809). Archbishop 
Carroll also built upon the traditional Catholic strengths 
in educating girls and m employing women teachers by 
dispatching Carmelites and Seton's new Sisters of Char- 
ity to establish girls' academies in Baltimore, Frederick, 
and Georgetown. Catholic lay teachers were more prev- 
alent in St. Mary's County, where Polly Carberry and 
Jenny Digges conducted separate schools at Newtown 
and Mary Blades taught at both the Sotterley Plantation 
school and at the St. Mary's Academy tor Young Ladies. 

The Birth of St. Mary's Female Seminary 
These general trends in women's education-both nega- 
tive and positive, denominational and nonsectarian, na- 
tional and local-all contributed to the tounding ot St. 
Mary's Female Seminary, but the specific, significant 
catalysts for its creation in 1840 came from Southern 
Maryland. Although the nation's first public woman's 
normal school had just been founded and the golden age 
of private female seminaries was in full flower across 
America, 1840 was a most mauspicious year in Mary- 
land for the birth of this unique public institution. 

The economies of the state and county had hit rock 
bottom and still suffered from the devastating impact 
of the Depression of 1837-1839. The State of Mary- 
land, overzealous in its support ot canal and railroad 
projects, was $15,000,000 in debt, owed annual inter- 
est payments of nearly $586,000 on its internal im- 
provement bonds, and would soon be forced to institute 
a state property tax of 20 cents per $100 to raise reve- 
nues. The situation was even worse in St. Mary's 
County, one of the most distressed areas in the state. 
There, a population of 13,200(6,000 whites, 1,400 free 
blacks, and 5,800 slaves) had declined by 2,300 people, 
or 15 percent, since the first federal census in 1790. St. 
Mary's County had the highest illiteracy rate among 
white adults in Maryland, and its single-crop tobacco 
economy made most residents commercially dependent 
upon Baltimore, unable to support a local newspaper, a 
bank, or a significant town within its borders. It was 
easy for Annapolis legislators to forget this depressed 
and isolated region, as was evident in 1834 when the 
State of Maryland totally ignored the site of St. Mary's 
City in celebrating the bicentennial of its founding. 

If 1840 appeared to be the worst of times, it also 
held promise for becoming the best of times for a state 



28 



and a county rhat had nowhere to go but up. The "sad 
remains" ot ancient St. Mary's City consisted of "a tew 
mouldering bricks," but the sacred site itself could be 
transformed into a vital resource ot historical commem- 
oration that no other county could claim. The local de- 
scendants of the hrst colonists, longing tor the region's 
rediscovered tame and future growth, saw a glimmer of 
hope in the publication of John Pendleton Kennedy's 
historical novel, Rob o) the Bowl: A Legend of St. Inigot's. 
in 1838. This timely best-seller, the result of thorough 
research in rare seventeenth-century documents and 
containing "as much history as invention," generated 
public curiosity statewide about the origins of Mary- 
land. By publicizing St. Mary's City as "the most wisely 
planned and honestly executed . . . society . . . found 
in the annals of mankind, " Kennedy, a prominent 
United States Congressman and noted author, restored 
the forgotten Calvert capital to its rightful place in the 
minds of Marylanders. As a member of the new Philo- 
demic Society of Georgetown College queried in 1842 
after a group pilgrimage to the lost city: "Why are we so 
late in the proud ceremonial ot this day? Why so far 
behind our brethren in Massachusetts in testifying %'enera- 
tion for the founders ot this time-honored community.-' " 
The citizens of St. Mary's County surely felt such 
neglect more often and more deeply than any tourist, 
and the three local representatives in the House of Dele- 
gates decided to exploit the widespread publicity that 
Kennedy's novel had stimulated. In 1839, Colonel 
William R. Coad, Colonel James T Blackistone, and 
Dr. Joseph F. Shaw reportedly met at Coad's Cherry 
Fields plantation in Drayden, across the river from St. 
Mary's City, and formulated plans for the creation ot a 
girls' academy that would be a living state memorial to 
the historic first capital. That was ironic, because the 
ancestors of Coad and Blackistone had been the rebel 
leaders most responsible for toppling the Calverts from 
power in 1689 and sending the old capital into a fast, 
fatal decline. Colonel Coad was a wealthy, 35-year-old 
Catholic planter (with total property valued at 563,000 
in the 1850 census); Colonel Blackistone was an equally 
affluent, 25-year-old Episcopalian lawyer and future 
state senator from Leonardtown (whose in-laws owned 
Cremona plantation); and Doctor Shaw was a 38-year- 
old Episcopalian physician-farmer, graduate of the Uni- 
versity ot Pennsylvania Medical School and lifelong 
resident ot Charlotte Hall. All were members of the 
Whig Party, but none seemed committed to politics as a 
career. It is not inconceivable that they gained election 
to the Maryland Assembly in 1839 for the sole purpose 
ot founding a school that would help stimulate a re- 
gional renaissance, because all three men served only 



C.llj!^^^^ i 5*^^^_^ ■ 



John Pendleton Kennedy on Old St. Mary's City 

{T)he very spot where the old city stood is known only to a 
jew— for the traces of the early residence of the Proprietary 
government have nearly faded away from the knowledge of 
this generation. An astute antiquarian eye. howeier. nuiy 
define the site of the town by the few scattered bricks which 
the ploughshare has mingled with the ordinary tillage of 
the fields. It may be determined, still more visibly, by the 
mouldering and shapeless ruin (f the ancient State House. 
whose venerable remains— I relate it with a blush— have 
been pillaged to furnish building materials for an un- 
sightly church, which now obtrusively presents its mottled, 
mortar-stained and shabby front to the view of the visitor, 
immediately beside the wreck of this early monument to the 
founders of Maryland. Over these ruins a storm-shaken 
and magnificent mulberry, aboriginal, and cotemporary 
with the settlement of the province, yet rears its shattered 
and topless trunk, and daily distils upon the sacred relics 
at Its foot, the dews of heaven- an august and brave old 
mourner to the departed companions of its prime. 

{But} our pragmatical little city hath departed. Not all 
its infant glory, nor its manhood's bustle, its walls, gar- 
dens and bowers— its warm housekeeping, its gossiping 
burghers, its politics and its factions— not even its prolific 
dames and gamesome urchins could keep it in the upper air 
until this our day. Alas for the vaulting pride of the vil- 
lage, the lain glory of the city, and the metropolitan 
boast! St. Mary's hath sunk to the level of Tyre and 
Sidon. Balbec and Palmyra! She hath become trackless, 
tokenless. 

—Source: John Pendleton Kennedy, Rob of tht Boiil: A 
Legend of St. hiigoe's (Baltimore, 1838), ed. William S. Os- 
borne (New Haven, 1965), 35-.36, 39. 



briefly in the House of Delegates, only one before 1838 
and none after 1840. 

Delegates Coad, Blackistone, and Shaw journeyed 
to Annapolis in January 1840 to introduce their idea for 
a state monument school in the Legislative Session ot 
1839. (As was the custom in Maryland, a legislative ses- 
sion was designated for the year in which the assembly- 
men were elected, even though all ot the business ot the 
1839 legislature actually occurred in 1840. Thus, the 
perennial confusion with the founding date ot St. 
Mary's is owing to carelessness with prepositions; the 
school was created in 1840 by the legislature of 1839, 
not the legislature in 1839.) The three representatives 
from St. Mary's County received a good indication of 



29 



how their proposal would fare when the House of Dele- 
gates, with a huge Whig majority, appointed them to 
investigate the feasibility of their own idea. Coad, 
Blackistone, and Shaw knew that the legislature was in- 
clined to provide some help to improve the dismal con- 
dition of education in St. Mary's County, because the 
state had recently appointed fifteen district school com- 
missioners there and allocated $1,600 for the con- 
struction of elementary schoolhouses. The proposal for 
a secondary girls' academy, although ambitious, would 
succeed if legislation could be phrased in such a way as 
to appeal to the delegates' nostalgic patriotism while 
also addressing a practical, present need. 

The bill "to Establish a Female Seminary in Saint 
Marys County on the Site of the Ancient City of Saint 




^ 



The Old Mulberry Tree, St. Mary's City, as it appeared 
when St. Mary's Female Seminary ivas constructed. This 
"treaty tree, " the last of the capital's landmarks to survive 
from the seventeenth century, was drawn in 1832 by a Miss 
Piper, a student at the Seminary. Mrs. J. Spence Howard 
donated the drawing to Historic St. Mary's City, ivhich 
granted permission to publish. 



Marys" fulfilled all of the objectives in venerating the 
past, rectifying a present problem, and laying the 
groundwork for a brighter future. The County delega- 
tion introduced it into both houses of the Assembly in 
early February 1840. It passed the House of Delegates 
on 26 February, was approved by the Maryland Senate 
on 4 March, and was signed into law by Governor 
William Grason on 21 March 1840- "Enactment Day." 

This bipartisan legislation, passed by a Whig As- 
sembly and signed by a Democratic governor, reflected 
the sincere desire "to cherish the remembrance of great 
events and sacred places connected with the early his- 
tory of our ancestors" at St. Mary's City- "where civili- 
zation and Christianity were first mtroduced into our 
State." The drafters of the act sought "to establish on 
that sacred spot a female seminary [so] that those who 
are destined to become the mothers of future genera- 
tions may receive their education and early impressions 
at a place so well calculated to inspire affection and at- 
tachment for our native State." Thus expressed, there 
was little that was controversial in educating young 
women, destined to give birth to future citizens, at the 
birthplace of Maryland. Although the legislation spe- 
cifically mandated a female seminary-which referred to 
a well-rounded precoUegiate curriculum in the liberal 
arts and a seriousness of academic purpose not found in 
traditional finishing schools-the assemblymen defi- 
nitely expected the new institution to produce cultured 
"Mothers of the Republic" and not spinster profes- 
sionals or activists for women's rights in the mold of 
Margaret Brent. The female seminaries were the first 
schools in America to bridge the traditional male world 
of culture and the traditional woman's world of nature, 
but if the graduates of the better northern seminaries 
often became teachers or missionaries, few such voca- 
tional aspirations were intended or encouraged by 
southern schools. 

St. Mary's Female Seminary was designed as a fit- 
ting, living, albeit belated, memorial to Maryland's bi- 
centennial-the first and only American school founded 
as a monument to, and on the original site of, the colo- 
nial birthplace of any state. Consistent with its role as 
the Monument School that would forever honor Mary- 
land's past achievements, the Seminary was required by 
the legislation of 1840 to collect and preserve meaning- 
ful archives and artifacts related to the early colony. This 
focus on history was an indispensable ingredient in 
creating the Seminary, because the State of Maryland 
would not have approved of a school in St. Mary's 
County anywhere but at the site of first settlement. 
Moreover, since the indebted state government could 
not and did not provide a penny for the school's con- 



30 




Trinity Episcopal Churchyard. St. Mary's City. 



Creating the Seminary 



An Act to Authorize the Dratving of a Lottery to 

Establish a Female Seminary in Saint Mary's County, 

on the Site of the Ancient City of Saint Mary's 

{as passed 4 March 1840} 



Preamble 

Whereas, the disposition to cherish the remembrance of 
great events and sacred places as connected with the early 
history of our ancestors has ever been in all ages of the world 
considered praiseworthy and commendable, whether evinced 
by the institution of periodical celebrations or the erection of 
commemorative monuments: and whereas, a large and re- 
spectable portion of the people of Maryland have long enter- 
tained a desire to commemorate in some suitable manner the 
site on which stood the City oj St. Marys {in St. Mary's 
county), the ancient capital oj the State, the sad remains of 
which cannot but recall to mind the transient nature of all 



things sublunary and the melancholy reflection, that nothing 
now remains but a few mouldering bricks to point out to the 
antiquarian the spot where civilization and Christianity 
were first introduced into our State; and whereas, the 
people of Maryland, and more especially the cit- 
izens of St. Mary's county, actuated hy that delicate 
sensibility which prompts man to adorn and scat- 
ter fiotvers around the tombs of departed relatives 
and friends, desire to establish on that sacred spot 
a female seminary, that those who are destined to become 
the mothers of future generations may receive their education 
and early impressions at a place so well calculated to inspire 
affection and attachment for our native State: and whereas, 
the object contemplated cannot be accomplished by private 
contribution and munificence and should for other good and 
sufficient reasons receive the countenance and support of this 
legislature. . . 

-Source; Laws of Maryland, Legislature of 1839, Chap- 
ter 190. 



31 



struction, having merely authorized a public lottery to 
obtain the necessary funding, the supporters of the 
Seminary counted on the popular, emotional appeal of 
nostalgia to fund this unique educational experiment. 
By authorizing a public lottery to raise up to $30,000 
($10,000 more than Colonel Coad had originally envi- 
sioned), however, the Maryland legislature provided 
official approval and thus encouraged thousands of indi- 
vidual contributors to make St. Mary's truly a Monu- 
ment School of the People. 

Although the legislature had used lotteries to fund 
other Maryland schools since 1809, one provision in the 
1840 law made St. Mary's Female Seminary unprece- 
dented and unique- it was to be owned by the state and 
operated as a public boarding school for young women. St. 
Mary's was the eighth female seminary in Maryland to 
be authorized and incorporated by the General Assem- 
bly, but it was the only one that was deeded to the state, 
that was subsequently supported by tax monies, and 
that survives today as a tour-year college. 

St. Mary's College, through its direct evolution 
from the Seminary, is thus the oldest state-owned in- 
stitution of higher education in Maryland and the only 
one to have been continuously under state control for 



The Charms of Women- 1846 

/ would have her as pure as the snow on the mount 

As true as the smile that to infamy's given 

As pure as the ivave of the crystalline punt, 

Yet as warm in the heart as the sunlight of heaven. 

With mind cultivated, not boastingly wise, 

I could gaze on such beauty, with exquisite bliss: 

With her heart on her lips and her soul in her eyes 

What more could I wish in dear woman than this. 

-Source: "Female Charms," Goc/ey's Magazine 
and Lady's Book. XXXIII (1846), 52. 

The Rights of Women- 1848 

The right to love whom others scorn. 

The right to comjort and to mourn. 

The right to shed new joy on earth, 

The right to feel the soul's new worth. 

Such are women's rights, and God will bless 

And crown their champions with success. 

-Source: Mrs. E. Little, "What are the Rights of Women? 
in Ladies Wreath. II (1848-49), 113. 



150 years. St. John's College and Washington College 
had received state funds beginning in 1784, but they 
were never owned hy the state; in 1805, the legislature 
withdrew its financial support, and both institutions 
struggled m the early nineteenth century before emerg- 
ing as the independent colleges they have been ever 
since. In 1807, the legislature chartered Baltimore's 
College of Medicine, re-chartered it as the University of 
Maryland five years later, assumed control in 1826, and 
merged it with a small Baltimore academy and liberal 
arts college in 1830 to create a comprehensive state uni- 
versity. However, the medical professors rebelled 
against the state-appointed trustees and won a court 
battle to return both institutions to private ownership 
and operation, which the General Assembly agreed to 
in 1839- All of the other colleges in the state system 
were founded after the Civil War, and the present Uni- 
versity of Maryland at College Park was not created un- 
til 1920. 

In authorizing the lottery that would lead to the 
creation of the Female Seminary, the Maryland legisla- 
ture appointed Colonel Cornelius Combs, Dr. Caleb M. 
Jones, and John White Bennett, all from St. Mary's 
County, as lottery commissioners and the first trustees 
of the prospective school. Although not as wealthy as 
Delegates Coad, Blackistone, and Shaw-the fathers of 
the Seminary-Combs, Jones, and Bennett were emi- 
nently qualified to be the first guardians of the new in- 
stitution. All were trusted, middle-aged veterans of the 
War of 1812 who had demonstrated an interest in edu- 
cation through their service on the county commissions 
for primary schools. Colonel Combs (1783-1865), a 
prominent Catholic planter from Great Mills, had 
served on the St. Mary's County Levy Court and as 
judge of the Orphans Court. Doctor Jones (1788- 
1869), the Episcopalian owner of Cross Manor planta- 
tion at St. Inigoes, was a physician-planter with a med- 
ical degree from the University of Pennsylvania. Ben- 
nett (1796-1875), also an Episcopalian from the First 
District, had been postmaster of St. Inigoes and became 
a county commissioner in 1844. These trustees of both 
the lottery and of the eventual school assumed awesome 
responsibilities under the legislation of 1840. They 
were required to post personal bonds for good perfor- 
mance in administering the lottery and were legally lia- 
ble "for the punctual payment of all prizes"-out of their 
own pockets, if necessary. 

By the summer of 1844, Trustees Combs, Jones, 
and Bennett had raised $18,432.67, of which $1,124.42 
was interest earned on bank deposits and another 
$3,438.56 interest on "City stock." Although this sum 
was far less than the ceiling authorized by the legisla- 



32 




"The Seminary Building" (the original Caliett Hall), as it probably appeared soon after construction was completed in Octo- 
ber 1845. A visitor in 1869 described it as "a large brick building that stands dreary and treeless, looking like a factory. 
. . . {The campus) would be an excellent place for a convent of Carthusians, but to banish lively girls to this lonely region, 
lovely though it is, . . . must have been the conception of some malicious and dyspeptic old bachelor. " 



ture, it allowed for the purchase of six acres of Trinity 
Church land from the Vestry of William and Mary Par- 
ish ($609.25) and the construction of the Seminary 
Building ($13,486.52), along with fixtures, furnish- 
ings, and fencing ($2,002). For an additional $100.00, 
the trustees also procured a right of way for "an avenue 
20 feet wide," which by 1847 would connect the school 
to distant cities via the steamboat port at Brome's 
Wharf (This road is still extant today, leading to the 
river alongside the Reconstructed State House.) On 3 
August 1844, the trustees laid the cornerstone of the 
Seminary Building, with Randolph Jones, son ol the 
trustee and heir to Cross Manor, delivering a stirring 
address. In dedicating the largest building to rise at the 
ancient capital in over a century-and-a-hall, Jones re- 
flected the local optimism tor a brighter future: "May it 
be the morning star of moral light which brings in day, 
beautiful day, to Old St. Mary's." Three weeks later, 
Trustees Combs, Jones, and Bennett deeded the Semi- 
nary campus, including a portion "of the ancient city of 
St. Mary's," to the State of Maryland-probably the 
most significant single event that ensured the survival 
of the school to this day (21 August 1844, St. Mary's 
County Land Record JH No. 13, f 381). 

When contractor Thomas Evans completed the 



two-story, double-porticoed "Plantation Greek" Semi- 
nary Building on 27 October 1845, the hopes and 
dreams of countless supporters seemed fulfilled. This 
original Calvert Hall*-although not officially named 
as such until 1955-was described by a Georgetown resi- 
dent soon after construction as a "beautiful mansion." It 
was an imposing sight on a significant site and a fitting 
symbol of a community renaissance. The building's 
many chimneys and six white columns, thick and 
square, towered above nearby Trinity Churchyard, the 
tranquil resting place of colonial generations, and faced 
toward the Potomac River, alive with the traffic of com- 
merce. Looking out upon the ruins of the old capital, 
this newest monument on those hallowed grounds con- 
trasted sharply with the oldest- the massive but decay- 
ing mulberry tree that had greeted Leonard Calvert's 
arrival in 1634. The only other landmarks in St. Mary's 
City were Trinity Episcopal Church, which had been 
built with State House bricks in 1829, and the recently 
completed home of Dr. John M. Brome (1819- 1887) at 
his St. Mary's Manor plantation in Governor's Field. 
On 27 October 1845, the same day that Calvert 

'Hereafter, "Calvert Hall" will be used instead of the "Seminary Build- 
ing," since most people know this centerpiece of the campus by that 
name. 



33 



Hall (the Seminary Building) was completed, Trustees 
Combs, Jones, and Bennett began the process of mak- 
ing St. Mary's Female Seminary operational by conven- 
ing the first official meeting of the Board of Trustees. In 
compliance with the legislation of 1840, they selected 
ten additional members to serve with them-Colonel 
Coad, Colonel Blackistone, and Doctor Shaw, who had 
conceived the school, and seven others: County Com- 
missioner William Biscoe (1810-1876), Episcopalian 
owner of Pleasant Hills plantation, near St. Clements; 
Dr. William J. Edelen (ca. 1800-1873), a wealthy 
Catholic physician-planter and justice of the Levy 
Court; Colonel Benedict I. Heard (ca. 1793-1864), a 
Catholic from the Patuxent River with vast political ex- 
perience on the state and county level; Judge Henry 
Greenfield Sothoron Key (1790-1872), an affluent 
Episcopalian lawyer who owned Tudor Hall in Leonard- 
town and the only known non-Whig on the Board; 
County Commissioner Henry Sewall (ca. 1805-1862) 
from the Second District; William L. Smith (ca. 1800- 
1853.''), a school commissioner from the First District; 
and Richard Thomas, former speaker of the House of 
Delegates and president of the Maryland Senate, who 
declined to serve and was replaced at the December 
meeting by Thomas Loker( 1798- 1876), owner of Mul- 
berry Fields plantation and former Levy Court justice. 

This first Board of Trustees was an imposing group 
of prominent citizens from St. Mary's County, whose 
family dominance in public service and personal wealth 
was generally as great in the 1840s as it had been in 
colonial times. According to Whitman H. Ridgway's 
Community Leadership in Maryland. 1790—1840. "St. 
Mary's County was ruled by a dynamic oligarchy, whose 
power base was landed wealth, whose influence was en- 
hanced by a persisting inequality in the distribution of 
property, and whose dynamic element was a social in- 
frastructure of wide and expanding kinship associa- 
tions." Service to the Seminary represented a civic duty 
to these community oligarchs and may have been the 
only personally unprofitable activity in which they par- 
ticipated. On 26 February 1846, the State of Maryland 
incorporated St. Mary's Female Seminary and officially 
made the Board of Trustees an independent "body poli- 
tic and corporate," with the legal authority to acquire 
or dispose of all types of property, to use a common seal, 
and "generally to . . . promote the object and design 
of said corporation"-including the filling of trustee va- 
cancies and the removal of members by a two-thirds 
majority. As one of the founding traditions of St. 
Mary's, its Board of Trustees has remained independent 
down to the present. 

On Thursday, 13 November 1845, the Board of 



Trustees held the first business meeting since all thir- 
teen members had been selected. The nine trustees 
present (Bennett, Blackistone, Coad, Combs, Edelen, 
Jones, Sewall, Shaw, and Smith) signed a pledge "to 
promote the interest and advance the prosperity of the 
institution"-which all subsequent Board members 
would sign for the next century. Colonel Combs was 
elected the first president of the Board and Bennett was 
chosen as register (secretary). Doctor Shaw introduced 
the only two motions of this first session: (1) that Presi- 
dent Combs appoint a committee to draft rules and reg- 
ulations for the governance of the Board (Shaw, Coad, 
and Jones were selected), and (2) that President Combs 
appoint a second committee to develop operational pol- 
icies on teachers, salaries, and tuition (Shaw, Heard, 
Key, Jones, Coad, Edelen, and Sewall were chosen). 

These subcommittees reported substantial progress 
at the next Board meeting on 14 January 1846. The one 
on operations, hoping that the Seminary could open by 
mid-March or early April, recommended the immedi- 
ate furnishing of student living quarters "in a plain neat 
manner" and the hiring of three faculty members-a 
teaching principal at $400 per year, a teaching vice- 
principal at $350, and an assistant teacher at $300. The 
trustees decided to offer one-year contracts, reserving to 
themselves "the power and right of dismissing any 
teacher for incompetency, neglect ol duty, or impro- 
priety of conduct at any time within the year," but al- 
lowing the principal to suspend a teachet until the 
Board could take "final action on the subject." Com- 
mitted to offering the curricula of the better female 
seminaries but at a much reduced cost, the trustees ap- 
proved the following annual charges for students: 

Tuition, Elementary Branch $ 20.00 

(English Grammar, Spelling, Reading, Writing, 
Arithmetic, and Geography) 

Tuition, Higher Branches of English 30.00 

Instruction in French or Latin 12.00 

Music Instruction, Piano (provided) 37.00 

Music Instruction, Guitar (provided) 22.00 

Drawing and Painting in Watercolors 16.00 

Drawing and Painting in Oils 28.00 

Stationery (optional) 2.00 

Room, Board, Laundry, Fuel, and Oil for 

Lights 100.00 

($10.00 applied to a fund for repairs) 



34 



The January 1846 meeting of the Board was among 
the most important and historic trustee gatherings in 
the 150 years of St. Mary's, for in addition to the mea- 
sures already mentioned, the Board members deter- 
mined the distinctive and critical core values ol the 
institution that have endured until today First ol ail, 
the trustees committed the Seminary to educational ex- 
cellence in the liberal arts by pledging to "Secure . . . 
teachers talent to compete with the best established 
female Seminaries m the State, and offer as liberal and 
extensive [a] course of study as the highest standard of 
female education requires." One of the best institutions 
that the trustees investigated and emulated was the Pa- 
tapsco Female Institute in Ellicott City, founded in 
1834 by Mrs. Almira Hart Phelps, sister of Emma Hart 
WiUard, known throughout America for the excellence 
of her Troy Female Seminary in New York. 

Second, in recognizing that "the great object of this 
institution was not only to raise the standard of female 
education in our county, but to diffuse its blessings to as 
numerous a portion of the community as possible," the 
St. Mary's trustees consciously made tuition, board, and 
fees more affordable at the new Monument School of the 
People than at the "several female schools of established 
character in the State. " St. Mary's charged a total of only 
$120 per year for a boarding student in the Elementary 
Branch and $130 per year for the advanced English cur- 
riculum. The total cost of taking every subject at the 
Seminary in an academic year (an impossible task) was a 
mere $267-substantially lower than the charges at sis- 
ter seminaries across the state, which the Board had 
specifically researched: Frederick Female Seminary 
(1842), $365; Hamilton's Academy in Baltimore, $431; 
Baltimore Academy of the Visitation (1839), $445; and 
Patapsco Female Institute, $494. From the beginning, 
the trustees wanted St. Mary's Female Seminary to be 
self-supporting and actively sought "extensive patron- 
age"- initially "Solicit[ed] Subscriptions" for a library 
fund- that would create a private endowment and con- 
tinue to keep student costs low. 

Finally, the trustees established the fundamental 
principles of strict nonsectarianism and liberal religious 
toleration in both the Seminary's internal operations and 
external relations, consistent with the school's historic 
ties to the Calvert legacy at St. Mary's City. While 
knowledge of Christianity would be encouraged among 
the students as a "great and important element ot 
female education," the trustees were adamant that "no 
spirit of proselytism, no clashing of conflicting creeds, 
or controversial questions of churches shall be permit- 
ted within the walls of this institution, an institution 
founded on the consecrated spot where free toleration on 



the subject of religion was first promulgated." The 
Board "sincerely hoped that this spirit, like the good 
genius of the place, may hover over our institution and 
our children taught to respect each others religious 
creeds, and in the language of Saint John to 'love one 
another.'" All teachers and trustees of the Seminary 
were injoined "both by precept and example to carry 
out this principle, and thereby confer innumerable ben- 
efits and blessings upon the people of Saint Marys for 
ages to come." This principle was soon translated into 
policies that required an equal distribution ol Catholics, 
Episcopalians, and Methodists-the dominant denomi- 
nations in the population of St. Mary's County-among 
the teachers and the trustees. 



"Placing A Daughter At School" 

Dear madam. I've called for the purpose 

Of placing my daughter at school; 

She's only thirteen, I assure you, 

And remarkably easy to rule. 

I 'd have her learn painting and music, 

Gymnastics and dancing, pray do, 

Philosophy, grammar and logic. 

You'll teach her to read, of course, too. 

I ivish her to learn every study 

Mathetnatics are doivn on my plan, 

But of figures she scarce has an inkling 

Pray instruct her in those, if you can. 

I'd have her taught Spanish and Latin, 

Including the language of France; 

Never mind her very bad English, 

Teach her that when you find a good chance. 

Now to you I resign this young jewel. 

And my words I would have you obey; 

In six months return her, dear madam. 

Shining bright as an unclouded day 

She's no aptness. I grant you. for learning 

And her memory oft seems to halt; 

But. remember, if she's not accomplished 

It will certainly be your fault. 

-Source: Motte Hall, in Godey's Lady Book. XLVI 
(May 1853), 457. 



35 



'^^^pp?*^' 



t7,,,/,eti IremDiof I'lnn^L 






IffO. 

uo 

.W 
60 
AO^ A 

iO 

Ao 
4 : 



tffyn 



yL^- 



11,0 

'20 
f 



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60 

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^/? 

Sd 






fOO 

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32 

//, . 

5 






Ao 



A chart of charges from the 14 January 1846 Minides of the Board oj I'rnstees, showing how St. Mary's was designed to be 
an inexpensive alternative to sister seminaries around the state. 



A Rough Beginning 

Blessed with conscientious trustees, a new campus, and 
laudable guiding principles, St. Mary's Female Semi- 
nary in the spring of 1846 lacked only two prerequisites 
for a successful school-teachers and students! In their 
enthusiasm for this unique educational experiment, the 
trustees were unprepared for the difficult task of re- 
cruiting accomplished faculty members to such a rural 
area— an endemic problem that would plague the in- 
stitution for the next century. Mr. Edward J. Meany fi- 
nally accepted the position of principal on Thursday, 
2 April 1846, after thinking over the Board's offer for 
nearly a month, but the Seminary still desperately 
needed women teachers before it could open. Mrs. 
Meany, who had been hired to provide meals, oversee 
the dormitory, and chaperone the students, was pressed 
into service as a part-time teacher by the reluctant 
trustees, who promised to "appropriate such compensa- 
tion [to her} as they can afford." The Board increased 
the annual salary of the vice-principal from $350 to 
$400 in an effort to stimulate applicants, but to no 
avail. Two well-known and highly regarded county 
teachers. Miss Agnes Magee and Miss Mary Blades, 



were offered teaching positions at $350 apiece (an in- 
crease of $50 from the Board's initial budget projec- 
tions), but they both declined the appointments anyway 
After all the previous plans to open the Seminary in 
mid-March or early April or mid-May had been dashed 
by the failure to recruit instructors, a strange malaise 
beset the once-enthusiastic trustees. The scheduled 
Board meetings for 2 May, 16 June, 1 July, and 17 Octo- 
ber 1846 all failed to attract a quorum, and on one occa- 
sion, three trustees waited several hours lor others to 
arrive in the futile hopes of having a meeting. On 13 
May, the Board ruled that, henceforth, five members- 
not the seven as stated in the state's 1846 act of incor- 
poration-would "constitute a quorum for the transac- 
tion of ordinary business, subject to the approval by a 
quorum under the charter at their next meeting." The 
trustees, in evident desperation, passed the following 
motion at the Board meeting on 14 December 1846: 
"Resolved by the Trustees of St. Marys Female Seminary 
that when a Trustee of this institution tails to attend 
three quarterly meetings in succession, without a good 
and sufficient excuse, he will be considered as having 
vacated his seat, and that the trustees will, at their next 



36 



meeting, . . . elect someone to fill his place." 

The Seminary was almost still-born, but to main- 
tain momentum, the trustees encouraged a "very lim- 
ited number of boarders" -mostly their own daughters 
and nieces- to take up residence at the school in the late 
spring of 1846. An additional teacher joined the 
Meanys that summer, and St. Mary's Female Seminary, 
after numerous delays, at last had its official opening on 
the first Monday in October 1846. No more than ten 
students began the first academic year, for the Board 
minutes of 11 November 1846 recorded only $92.95 
collected in "Tuition fees." Mrs. Cecelia Coad Roberts, 
Trustee Goad's daughter and the last surviving member 
of that entering class, was only eight when she started 
at the Seminary. In reminiscences recorded in the 
mid-1920s, she recalled "less than twelve" initial ma- 
triculants, including Jane Bennett, daughter of Trustee 
Bennett; Sallee Biscoe, perhaps a niece of Trustee Bis- 
coe; Mary Rebecca Loker, daughter of Trustee Loker; 
and Mary Milburn, daughter of Trustee James C. Mil- 
burn (who had joined the Board in March 1846). 

These first Seminarians found the school a very con- 
genial place to live. According to Colonel Goad's daugh- 
ter, the girls' bedrooms shared part of the second floor in 
old Calvert Hall with large classrooms and a study hall. 
The dormitory rooms were quite spartan. Shelves and 
racks were not installed until October 1848, and the 
perennial lack of wardrobes and chests-of-drawers 
forced some two generations of students to store their 
clothing in the attic. The first floor of Calvert Hall was 
divided by a large central hallway facing toward Trinity 
Church and opening onto a huge, columned front 
porch. This may have been the only door to the build- 
ing, since it was common practice in female seminaries 
of this era to monitor closely the movement of students. 
Pupils would have found it difficult to exit or enter the 
building unnoticed, because on one side ot the central 
hallway were a teacher's bedroom, a parlor, the Trustees' 
Room (where the Board held its meetings), and a music 
room; the other side contained the principal's living 
quarters, another teacher's room, "the best music 
room," and the library. The legislature in 1840 specifi- 
cally required a library "for the purpose of collecting 
and preserving all books and other relicks connected 
with and calculated to throw light upon the first settle- 
ment and early history" of Maryland. The basement of 
Calvert Hall contained the kitchen and dining area, in 
addition to a "lovely big room with fireplace" for the 
steward, the staff member in charge of student meals, 
accommodations, and the maintenance of the campus. 
To the rear of the building was a back porch (where stu- 
dents exercised in inclement weather) and behind it a 



bath house with hot and cold running water, several 
wooden storage sheds for food and fuel, a wash-house, 
an ice house, and a stable- reportedly constructed with 
bricks from the State House of 1676. Mrs. Roberts af- 
fectionately remembered Calvert Hall as "a wonderful 
place with all modern conveniences. I got my first 
shower bath there." Then, as now, the waterfront was 
the focus of student recreation; by 1852 if not earlier, 
the school provided "conveniences on a clean and bold 
shore for salt water bathing during the summer season. " 

^ 



Letters Home from an Early Seminarian 

5"/. Alary 's Seminary 
January 22, 1849 

Dear Parents 

I received your kind and affectionate letter and it gave me 
much pleasure to hear from you all. . . . I hope you do not 
think hard of my not ansu 'ering your letter before nou \ but 
. . . I thought it unnecessary to write again so soon. . . . 
I suppose you want to know how I spend my Sabbaths here. 
I go to Church every other Sunday and get Bible lessons 
every Sunday, so I spend my Sabbaths very pleasently. 
. . . Tell Aunt Mary I think ink or paper must be very 
scarce with her else she would write oftener to me. . . . 
When you iirite to me again let me know whether little 
Brother can walk or not: and whether he can speak any 
words. Now I must conclude by sending my love. . . . 

February 10. 1849 

Dear Ala. 

I cannot express my feelings on receiving your letter, for I 
was so much surprised to hear that little Brother had been 
so extremely ill .... The Trustees had a meeting last 
Wednesday and did not decide whether we would have any 
holiday at Easter or not but most of the girls expect to go 
home .... You said I must send you a memorandum of 
my studies. I am studying Chemistry. Philosophy. Arith- 
metic, and several others which I have not time to mention 
now, but these are the principal. Music I am very fjnd of 
and have taken two tunes and M . Sommervell has taken 
three and you know she knew some of her notes before she 
came here. . . . I remain. Your affectionate and loving 
daughter 

Sarah J. F.Jones 

-Source: Letters from Sarah Jane Frances Jones to Mr. 
and Mrs. Washington Jones of Mill Mount, Calvert County. 
Transcription kindly provided by Margaret P. Wcems, Prince 
Frederick, Maryland, a descendant of the author. 



37 




The Dorchester docking at Brome's Wharf, St. Mary's City. The Female Seminary was a steamboat school from 1847 to the 
mid— 1950s, accessible to most of the Chesapeake region primarily through the twice-weekly docking of such vessels only 100 
yards from the campus. 



Both beautiful and functional, the Seminary at long last 
reverberated with the energy of adolescent residents, 
and the ancient capital once again heard the sweet 
sounds of youthful excitement. 

St. Mary's Female Seminary was always distinctive, 
because, as a boarding school, it sought to create a total 
educational environment of living and learning that 
would complem.ent classroom activities. The academic 
year was divided into two five-month terms (October to 
March and March to July), with only a few days off at 
Christmas and only occasionally at Easter and a summer 
vacation of eight weeks. The trustees assured parents 
that the summer vacation was timed to avoid the "only 
season during which malarious sickness prevails even in 
the least favored parts of the county. " Each July, as the 
academic year ended, the Seminarians had to pass an 
oral public examination in front of the trustees and 
other guests. The school day began at 8:00 a.m. and 
ended at 4 p.m., with a one-hour lunch break at noon. 
Ail classes lasted forty-five minutes and changed at the 
ringing of a bell. Two study periods were also scheduled 
in every class day; during the winter months, these 
were in the evening, as was an "exercise hour" year- 
round. When not studying or exercising, pupils were 
"encouraged to be industrious with their needles." An 



early Seminarian also recalled how Mrs. Priscilla 
"Muddy" Greenwell, the school's third steward, pro- 
moted gardening as a recreational activity, allowing the 
girls to "plant what we pleased" in individual plots 
along the Trinity Churchyard fence. 

In the 1847-48 academic year, all eighteen Semi- 
narians were enrolled in geography, grammar, history, 
philosophy, arithmetic, and algebra; sixteen pupils had 
additional lessons in music and eleven in drawing. By 
1852, St. Mary's advertised courses that seem sur- 
prisingly varied and sophisticated; in addition to the ex- 
pected instruction in spelling, reading, penmanship, 
English grammar, composition, rhetoric, arithmetic, 
history, and geography, the school ottered algebra, ge- 
ometry, astronomy, botany, natural philosophy, chemis- 
try, geology, physiology, natural history, "mental and 
moral philosophy," vocal and instrumental music, 
drawing, painting, French, Latin, and "the Evidences of 
Christianity. " An advertisement in the Port Tobacco Times 
announced that the Seminary also had 'all the instru- 
ments and apparatus necessary for the illustration of . . . 
[the] natural sciences. " 

That announcement revealed a dramatic improve- 
ment in the school's instructional tacilities from just 
four years before. The principal's first report on instruc- 



38 



tion, dated 27 April 1848, had revealed "generally 
. . . good progress" in academic subjects but "moral 
health . . . [that] is not quite what is desirable." Stu- 
dents "in Geography might have advanced more rapidly 
had they had the use of Maps," and the drawing classes 
lacked suitable tables or desks. The school also suffered 
a severe shortage of books, especially for "read[ing} to 
the pupils at those hours when assembled with their 
Sewing, as well as on Sundays." Music students were 
"suffering great disadvantage by being compelled to 
practice on [an untuned piano that] ... is forming 
them to bad habits. " In addition, the Seminary still did 
not have the "grace hoops, battle doors, [and] jumping 
ropes" necessary tor indoor exercise; the parlor was 
nearly devoid of furniture; and the principal desperately 
needed a stove in her quarters: "There being no fire in 
the wing I occupy, I was frequently compelled last win- 
ter to sit in the cold more than was conducive to com- 
fort or health." 

Aside from these early problems of an infant in- 
stitution, the reasonably priced Seminary, "established 
for the public good" with some statewide fanfare, 
should have been overwhelmingly successful in recruit- 
ing students in its first decade. From the end of one de- 
pression in 1840 to the onset of another in 1857, the 
nation enjoyed widespread prosperity, producing al- 
most a doubling of the population and an unprece- 
dented building boom. However, the Seminary was not 
able to benefit from the growing numbers of families 
now interested in, and capable of affording, secondary 
education for their daughters, due to the endemic prob- 
lem of finding and retaining qualified teachers in 
Southern Maryland. 

Only three months into the Seminary's first aca- 
demic year, a serious personnel crisis disrupted the 
school and exacerbated the teacher shortage. On 14 De- 
cember 1846, the trustees fired Mr. Meany for "conduct 
. . . render[ing] him unfit for the office of Principal" 
and immediately relieved him of his duties as register 
and treasurer of the Board as well. Apparently the "un- 
fit conduct" was public drunkenness, although there is 
also evidence to suggest a misuse of funds and Seminary 
property. Colonel Goad's young daughter remembered 
this scandal quite vividly. The members of the Board, 
including her father, met "most all day" in the Trustees' 
Room and finally summoned Principal Meany. "We [stu- 
dents] all hovered around, sort of subdued, expectmg 
something. I wondered why there were so many carriages 
out in the yard and why our parents were there. Then 
the trustees came out and told our parents to take us 
home. The school was going to be closed. You see, Mr. 
Meany loved his toddy too much, so they had to get rid 



of him, and they had warned the parents to be on hand. " 
The "Meany Affair" aborted the 1846-47 school year 
after only ten weeks and gave the pupils an unexpected 
"Christmas vacation" that lasted ten months. 

In the spring ot 1847, during this hiatus in classes, 
the trustees secured the services of Miss Eliza M. Ohr as 
principal, at a salary of $250, and hired Miss Rebecca 
R. Hough and Miss Matilda Babb as teachers, at an an- 
nual salary of $250 each. Trustee Bennett took up Mr. 
Meany 's duties as register and treasurer of the Board and 
agreed to serve as steward of the Seminary, in exchange 
for free tuition for his children. "With a full staff and 
renewed spirits, St. Mary's opened to eighteen students 
the following October and finished 1847-48, its first 
complete academic year of operation, in fine fashion. The 
next year, however, enrollment dropped to thirteen stu- 

^ 



Recruiting Faculty, 1852 

St. Mary's Female Seminary 
St. Mary's County, Maryland 

TEACHER WANTED-This institution offers to par- 
ents and guardians the best instruction in all the branches 
usually taught in female Seminaries, together with Music, 
Drawing, and the modern foreign languages on more 
moderate terms than is afforded by any similar academy 
in the State. 

It is noiv open for the reception of pupils under the care 
and instruction of MISS MARY BLADES Principal, 
MISS MARY P. THOMPSON. Vice Principal. 

The Board of Trustees wish to engage the services of 
a more proficient instructress in vocal and instrumental 
Music, particularly on the Piano. This Assistant must be 
capable of giving some aid to the general course of study at 
the Seminary. To such a Teacher they will give three hun- 
dred dollars per scholastic year and board at the Steward's 
house. As they wish a fair representation of the different 
religious sects among the teachers, a preference will be given, 
to a lady of the Methodist church, but invite proposals 
from all with testimonials of character and capacity, as 
they propose to secure the services of the best. 

Applications may be made by letter, postage paid, to 
Col. C. COMBS, President of the Board of Trustees, 
Great Mills Post Office, . . . until the 4th Wednesday in 
November next, when the Trustees will meet to make the 
appointment. 

By order WM. BISCOE. Register 

-Source: Port To/mcco Times, 14 October 1852. 



39 



dents (only three of them new), far below the eighty 
students that Calvert Hall was built to accommodate. 
Seeking better teachers who would hopefully boost en- 
rollments, the trustees paid $50 to Mrs. Phelps of the 
Patapsco Female Institute in an unsuccessful effort to 
procure the services of one Madame Clarisse M. Pla- 
mondon, a French teacher from Canada. 

Even though they were frustrated by the perennial 
problem of "securfing] the services of the best" teachers, 
the trustees were equally concerned about maintaining 
a balanced representation of Catholics, Episcopalians, 
and Methodists on the faculty. On 8 August 1849, the 
Board of Trustees passed a resolution- "that the Princi- 
pal, Vice- Principal, and Steward be of different re- 
ligions if they can possibly be"-which plunged the 
Seminary into its most severe and bitter crisis to date. 
This well-meaning attempt to preclude religious dis- 
crimination through the use of quotas backfired and, 
instead, unleashed destructive denominational tensions 
that were unexpected and explosive. The resolution had 
the effect of forcing Trustee Bennett, an Episcopalian, 
to resign as steward, because that denomination was 
overrepresented on the staff and it was unthinkable to 
drop one of the scarce women teachers. Bennett, the 
victim of this new policy, had voted against the August 
resolution, as did Trustees Blackistone, Loker, and 
Jones-signaling the emergence of an Episcopalian vot- 
ing bloc that bitterly factionalized the Board. Soon it 
would be impossible for the trustees to agree on even 
trivial issues, such as the length of the students' 
Christmas vacation. 

The religious crisis worsened by 1851, when Miss 
Marion Malone, a Catholic teacher of French and music, 
submitted her resignation because of ongomg con- 
frontations with Principal Ohr, an Episcopalian. A con- 
tentious February meeting resulted in a series of 4 to 4 
votes that prevented the trustees from formally accept- 
ing Miss Malone's resignation. The bad feelings carried 
over to 15 April, when the Protestant trustees convened 
the Board to consider the Malone affair-in the absence 
of Catholic members Coad and Combs, who had never 
before missed the same meeting. The specific charges 
against Miss Malone were that she had failed to perform 
her "police duties" at the school, denied music lessons 
to several students, refused to vacate the room needed 
for an infirmary, and, most damaging, had displayed 
"harsh treatment" and "violent authority" in her deal- 
ings with pupils. Colonel John H. Sothoron of The 
Plains plantation near Charlotte Hall, an influential cit- 
izen and future state senator, actually witnessed one 
such outburst while visiting the Seminary, and he im- 
mediately withdrew his daughters from the school. 



Forced to rescue the fragile reputation of the new Semi- 
nary and to prevent Principal Ohr from suffering fur- 
ther insubordination, the Protestant trustees confronted 
Miss Malone. She "declined any meeting or interview 
with the board, on the grounds of absence of her friends 
. . . and the Catholic trustees." Nevertheless, at the 
15 April meeting. Trustees Bennett, Blackistone, Key, 
Jones, Reeder, Milburn, and Shaw unanimously voted 
to dismiss the troublesome teacher. 

The purge of the faculty would not end there, for 
within a month of Malone's firing, the full Board, led by 
Coad and Combs, investigated serious allegations 
against Principal Ohr herself. The principal admitted 
loaning and even selling two controversial books to 
Seminary students- The School Girl in France and The En- 
glish Grvrfrwfjj- which, according to several trustees, 
were scandalous, polemical works "calculated to excite 
unkind feelings among the pupils on the subject of re- 
ligion, . . . reflecting & ridiculing ... in the harsh- 
est and most insulting manner, on the Roman Catholic 
religion." Finding Miss Ohr guilty of violating the 
school's "liberal religious principles" and of ignoring 
specific Board policies on the selection of suitable read- 
ing material for students, the trustees voted 9-.^-l on 
8 May 1851 to dismiss her. Apparently, however, at 
least four members did not believe, or little cared, that 
the incident made it "impossible . . . for Roman Cath- 
olic parents ever again to evince their confidence in the 
school while the present Principal is at its head," for 
Trustees Blackistone, Bennett, Jones, and Shaw con- 
tinued to support Miss Ohr for her proven administra- 
tive abilities. 

The divisiveness of the Board over the serious and 
fundamental issue of religious discrimination in the 
early 1850s rendered the trustees incapable of united 
action to stave off disaster by decade's end. Once the 
embittered Board members lost confidence in one an- 
other as neighbors with a shared heritage of toleration, 
the fortunes of the Seminary declined precipitously. 
Following the firing of Principal Ohr, the 1850-51 aca- 
demic year ended on a sour note: the contentious trust- 
ees failed to achieve a quorum for the all-important, 
end-of-term public examination of pupils on 29 July 
1851. The mistrustful trustees found it impossible to 
agree on prospective teachers throughout the decade, 
and in the face of continuing high faculty attrition, the 
Board itself was riddled by resignations, beset by poor 
attendance, and so thoroughly disillusioned as to allow 
the Seminary to fall into "a state of decay," both physi- 
cal and spiritual. In a desperate effort to attract new stu- 
dents, the Board in 1852 lowered the room and board fee 
by $20 from that of 1846 and reduced the entire sched- 



40 




Late nineteenth-century students at St. Mary's. 



ule of charges from $267 to $236. We can only guess at 
the devastating impact that this long administrative 
crisis must have had on enrollments, for the trustees did 
not leave any record of meetings after 1854. The school 
was apparently closed for the 1855-56, 1856-57, and 
1857-58 academic years, and in late 1857, the situa- 
tion was so bleak that the Board "petitioned the General 
Assembly for the sale of said Semmary and its prop- 
erty." The disheartened trustees suggested that the pro- 
ceeds be distributed to the county primary school fund 
or to "another institution for purposes of female educa- 
tion upon some other site than ... St. Mary's." 



First Rising of the Phoenix 

Fortunately, just as county leaders were preparing to de- 
liver funeral orations over the corpse ot their "living 
monument," concerned state officials quickly inter- 
vened to rescue the Seminary and to breathe new vi- 
tality into it. In its short and troubled history, St. 
Mary's Female Seminary had become too precious a 
symbol to the state for politicians in Annapolis to let it 
suffer so shameful a fate. Calling the trustees' decision 
to abandon the Seminary "a perversion of the monu- 
mental and educational object" of its 1840 legislation, 
the General Assembly reaffirmed its commitment to 



41 



the people of Southern Maryland by passing "An Act to 
Preserve the Existence of the St. Mary's Female Semi- 
nary" on 24 February 1858. Governor Thomas HoUiday 
Hicks (1798-1865), of the American, or "Know- 
Nothing," Party, signed the bill only six weeks into his 
administration, perhaps because of his "hatred of reli- 
gious schools" and his dedication to preserve "the anti- 
ent landmarks of the republic" against the threatening 
flood of foreign immigrants. The law of 1858 admon- 
ished the trustees for allowing the Seminary to deterio- 
rate, and it replaced them with "a board of commis- 
sioners for . . . re-organizing" the school— including 
Dr. John M. Brome, George W. Morgan, and Benjamin 
Tippett. 

These three commissioners met on 18 March 1858 
and duly appointed eleven other trustees from St. 
Mary's County to constitute an entirely new Board. 
Four men so named declined to serve, perhaps an indi- 
cation of bitter feelings still present, and were replaced 
by new appointees. On 27 July 1858, the following new 
trustees signed the oath "to promote the interest of the 
institution": John B. Abell (ca. 1818-1886), a Catholic 
farmer and later county commissioner; Colonel Chap- 
man Billingsley (ca. 1804-1874)-elected president of 
the Board-a wealthy Episcopalian planter-politician 
from the Sotterley area who would later serve in the 
state senate and the Constitutional Convention of 1864; 
County Commissioner Brome, an Episcopalian physician- 
planter who owned most of the townlands of St. Mary's 
City; John E. Carpenter (1825-1892), a Methodist 
farmer from Chaptico, former school teacher and future 
county commissioner; James Kemp Jones (ca. 1827- 
1868), a Methodist from Drum Cliff who later served as 
a county school commissioner; Charles Medley (ca. 
1807-ca. 1873), a Chaptico merchant-planter, one of 
the few countians who would serve in the Union Army 
during the Civil War; George Henry Morgan (1818- 
1870), wealthy Catholic co-editor of the St. Mary's Bea- 
con and judge of the Orphans Court; George W. Morgan 
(ca. 1812-1884), a Catholic kinsman of George Henry 
Morgan who would later serve in the House of Dele- 
gates and as a member of the Constitutional Convention 
of 1864; Henry C. Neale (ca. 1817-1880), a shoe man- 
ufacturer from Leonardtown; James Shemwell (1788- 
1869), an affluent Methodist planter from Chaptico; 
Benjamin Tippett (1806-1876), county surveyor, school 
examiner, and promoter of the "Point Lookout Rail- 
road"; Dr. James Waring (1812-1883), of Southamp- 
ton plantation, a wealthy entrepreneur who invested in 
wharfs and warehouses with fellow Trustees Carpenter 
and George H. Morgan; William Watts (1836?- 1903), 
a farmer and steamboat pilot from West St. Mary's 



Manor; and James Thompson Yates (1808-1874), a 
Catholic farmer from Medley Neck who later served as 
county sheriff, county commissioner, and judge of the 
Orphans Court. 

This second Board of Trustees approached the task 
of revitalizing St. Mary's Female Seminary with dedica- 
tion and innovation, and they succeeded in putting re- 
ligious controversies to rest. This Board assiduously 
maintained a balance of five Catholics, five Episcopa- 
lians, and four Methodists (five after 1904, when the 
Board was increased to fifteen members). All of the 
trustees lived in St. Mary's County and were loyal Dem- 
ocrats; they served for life and filled vacancies in their 
own ranks, usually from among valued friends and rela- 
tives. In this regard, the Seminary's Board of Trustees 
may have been one of the last vestiges of the old 
oligarchic system that had dominated affairs in South- 
ern Maryland since the seventeenth century. The 
trustees' close connections to one another through blood 
and marriage helped them establish the mutual respect 
and much-needed stability and continuity that trans- 
formed the Seminary into the pride of Southern Mary- 
land. The willingness of these influential community 
leaders to accept a complex challenge in the midst of 
controversy doubtless contributed to the state's growing 
confidence in, and financial support of, the struggling 
school. 

Although a full record of these trustees' accom- 
plishments is denied us, because Board Minutes for the 
1860s were destroyed by a fire in 1872, the new trustees 
apparently tried an ingenious method of quickly reviv- 
ing the Seminary soon after their appointment. Accord- 
ing to the St. Mary's Beacon, the school was scheduled to 
reopen on 18 October 1858 with the largest enrollment 
in its brief history, because the trustees had arranged for 
Madame Despommier's French and English Academy ot 
Baltimore to relocate to St. Mary's City and for the Sem- 
inary to absorb its faculty and students. In a handsome 
seven-page brochure, the trustees advertised the ser- 
vices of Madame Despommiers as co-principal and in- 
structor in French and Mary Blades as the other 
co-principal and teacher of English. Listed also were the 
names and hometowns ol ninety-four "Pupils in the 
Academy"-seventy-two from Baltimore City, sixteen 
from out of state, and one from St. Mary's County (Nan- 
nie Brome)- who would supposedly take up residence at 
the Seminary This ambitious and somewhat comical at- 
tempt to buy and relocate an established school, with a 
respected faculty and cosmopolitan student body, to 
Southern Maryland proved to be an abysmal failure. 
Few if any city girls followed Madame Despommiers to 
the Seminary, and there is no evidence that the head- 



42 



mistress herself ever resided on campus. Although the 
Board reduced the annual charges for tuition, room, and 
board to $150-surely a bargain compared to any urban 
academy— the trustees quickly learned that no amount 
of well-intended zeal could reverse the fortunes of the 
Seminary overnight. The problems of recruiting a sta- 
ble, competent faculty and of attracting sufficient en- 
rollments for financial solvency would continue. 

The new trustees were apparently undeterred by 
their initial failure in educational merchandising, and 
they continued to rely on hyperbolic advertising to re- 
cruit a student body. Between 1860 and 1862, news- 
paper advertisements in the Si. Mary's Beacon. Port 
Tobacco Times, and Baltimore Sun attempted to attract 



pupils by claiming that the Seminary had "a corps of 
efficient and experienced Teachers," who offered course- 
work "as thorough as at any other institution in the 
country." In reality, St. Mary's at this time had only one 
inexperienced teacher besides the principal-who was a 
different person almost every year-and, under such 
conditions, the school could barely offer even the most 
basic courses. 

There are frustratingly few sources about the Semi- 
nary during the critical years of the Civil War, for be- 
sides the missing Board Minutes, the publication of the 
St. Mary's Beacon was curtailed in the mid- 1860s due to 
the imprisonment of its allegedly "treasonous" pro- 
Southern editor. Miss Lucy L. Gardiner was listed as the 





r(==:?<c^^ 






^— t 


1-^-* — ^ 




Inventory of Seminary Property, October 1872 


{Parlor and Hall Furnishings) 






1 Large book case 


/ Hall Table 


{Classroom Furnishings} 


1 Mahogany Center Table 


4 Hall Chairs 


1 Dozen double cherry desks 


2 Settees large size 


1 Rocking Chair 


1 Hall Lamp 


u'l seats 


2 Settees small size 


4 Pianos 


oil cloth on floor (worn) 


22 old desks out of repair. 


1 Teachers desk and 






in attic 


cane chair 


{Dining Room 


Furnishings) 


4 black boards 


1 Long form painted 


2 Large (painted) Dining 


1 Gravy Boat 


2 clocks 


wood chair 


Tables 


1 vegetable dish & cover 






3 small (painted) Dining 


2 Glass salt cellars 


{Dormitory Furnishings) 


Tables 


3 Plated forks 


12 Double bedsteads 


1 double (painted) 


3 Heavy Kitchen Tables 


1 Large tea waiter 


1 High post-double Bedstead 


wardrobe 


1 Dinner plates 


2 stone Jars 


1 Single Bedstead 


4 small square painted 


1 1 Desert plates 


1 Biscuit Tray 


1 Hair Mattress double 


tables (old) 


12 Breakfast plates 


1 Pastry Board & 


1 Hair Mattress single 


1 small table (painted 


1 1 Cups & Saucers 


rolling pin 


1 Feather bed double 


white) 


6 Tumblers 


1 dripping pan 


1 Feather bed single 


7 racks-with-pegs for 


2 Large Meat Dishes 


2 Washing Tubs 


12 Mattresses (shuck) double 


clothes 


2 smaller Meat Dishes 


2 Andirons 


9 Mattresses (shuck) single 


3 Large wash stands 


1 Tureen 




10 Bolsters (shuck) 


(painted broivn) 






1 Bolsters feather 


4 small wash stands 


{Miscellaneous 


Furnishings) 


5 Prs pilloivs-feather 


(old) 


1 Mahogany secretary 


2 Rocking Chairs ( old & 


2 Prs pilloivs Hair 


12 Wash Baisins 


1 Large Music stand 


broken) 


4 single (painted) wardrobes 


4 Looking Glasses 


1 Calico covered Lounge 


1 Center Table (broken) 






3 Dozen Chairs (old & 


3 Carpets (old & much 






broken) 


ivorn) 


— Source; Loose-sheet inventory by Principal Jeannette E. 


Thomas, inserted in Board Minutes. 





43 



Seminary principal in Beacon advertisements dated 1 
September 1864 and 15 August 1867, and she probably 
remained in that post until her death in August 1869; 
however, newspapers were silent on the subject of the 
Seminary in 1863, 1865, and 1866. Textbooks from the 
school- Elements of Mythology: or. Classical Fables 6J the 
Greeks and Romans (21st ed., Philadelphia: Moss, 
Brother and Co. , I860) and Mary A. Swift's First Lessons 
on Natural Philosophy for Children (rev. ed., Hartford: 
William J. Hamersley, 1862)- reveal that one Lucy 
Dunbar, who signed and dated the inside covers, was 
attending classes at the Seminary in February 1864 and 
May 1865. Considering that teachers and students had 
been in short supply during the best of times; that 
several of the trustees were distracted by the war and 
even joined military units; and that few Southern- 
sympathizing county families would have wanted their 
young daughters away from home and so near to several 
Union Army encampments (Cross Manor, Point Look- 
out, and Leonardtown), it is incredible that the Semi- 
nary continued to hold classes for even part of the Civil 
War. 

Second Rising of the Phoenix 

After a troubled quarter-century ot bare survival, the 
Seminary's perseverence in the face ot scandal, indebt- 
edness, and the turmoil of war was rewarded by the 
state. Less than a decade after it had first resuscitated 



the struggling school, the Maryland General Assembly 
thrice more rescued the Seminary from certain collapse 
between 1864 and 1868. The timely arrival of essential 
financial support from Annapolis finally put the Semi- 
nary on its feet and permitted the school to prosper for 
the next 120 years. 

Immediately following the Civil War, the State of 
Maryland belatedly created a comprehensive system of 
free public education, but instead of closing the trou- 
blesome boarding school in St. Mary's City in the name 
of progress or conformity, public officials consistently 
regarded the Seminary as an essential part of Maryland's 
emerging educational future. Under the pro-Union, ab- 
olitionist Whig governor, Augustus W Bradford, the 
state in 1864 appropriated $2,000 to help retire the 
debts of the Seminary. Bradford's successor, the "Know- 
Nothing" ex-mayor of Baltimore, Thomas Swann, 
signed "An Act for the Relief of the Saint Mary's Female 
Seminary," which had passed the General Assembly on 
23 March 1867. This law appropriated $1,500 "or so 
much thereof as shall be necessary to repair and put in 
proper condition the said Seminary." A year later, on 28 
March 1868, the General Assembly pledged a continu- 
ing annual allocation of $2,500, payable every 1 April, 
"for the preservation of the Institution"- especially Cal- 
vert Hall, which was described in the legislation as a 
"structure ... of such magnitude and character that 
the incidental expenses necessary to keep up repairs has 




Old Calvert Hall, with painted or white-washed walls, as it probably appeared from the mid-1870s i/ntil 1924. This rare 
view shows the two-story porch fining toward Trinity Rectory that would have served as a "fire escape" in this period. 




1 



A group of Seniinarians, ca. 1898. The x marks the location of Miss Esther Schilling. Class of 1898. 



devolved upon the State." 

The significance of the states commitment in 1868 
for annual funding cannot be overemphasized, tor it al- 
lowed the Seminary to realize its mission as the Monu- 
ment School of the People down to the present. Trustee 
George Frederick Maddox, a member of Governor 
Swann's staff, doubtless promoted the idea of perpetual 
funding in exchange for the Board's sponsorship of full 
annual scholarships for "the advancement of young 
ladies of the State by a liberal education." By guarantee- 
ing in advance both an operating budget and a sufficient 
core of students, state officials ensured the solvency ot 
the Seminary, permitted it to broaden its influence 
beyond the borders of St. Mary's County, and gave girls 
of modest means a free education where Maryland's first 
pioneers had turned their dreams into reality. 



Stability and Continuity At Last 
Thanks to the state's continuing financial support, St. 
Mary's Female Seminary between 1870 and 1900 finally 
realized the institutional maturation that gave it a dis- 
tinctive character and a long life. The economic collapse 
of the school was never again a possibility, as the annual 
state contribution of $2,500 continued and even in- 
creased to $3,000 after 1893. Beginning in 1899, fund- 
ing was raised to $6,500, which allowed— indeed re- 
quired-the Seminary to increase the annual number of 
full scholarships from ten to twenty-six, one for each 
of the counties of Maryland and each legislative district 
of Baltimore City. By September 1888, the Board of 
Trustees had retired the school's debts and had a surplus 
of more than $3,000-enough to allow the trustees to 
begin a modest endowment through investment in guar- 



45 



anteed mortgage bonds of the Cincinnati-Washington- 
Baltimore Railroad. 

Another improvement over the Seminary's first 
quarter-century was the stability of the student body 
and the faculty. Already by 1871, St. Mary's had ex- 
panded the number of teachers (four) and pupils 
(thirty-three) beyond previous years, and by 1899, it 
had six instructors and fifty students- both records for 
the nineteenth century. The Board's promotion of three- 
year state scholarships had indeed created a diversified 
student body; of the thirty-seven pupils at the Seminary 
in 1895, twenty-one came from outside St. Mary's 
County- three from Anne Arundel, two each from Cal- 
vert, Charles, Dorchester, Prince George's, and "Wicom- 
ico counties, two from Baltimore City, and one each 
from Harford, Kent, Montgomery, Queen Anne's, and 
Somerset counties, and the District of Columbia. 

Institutional stability and progress were also evi- 
dent in the policies and activities that were becoming 
part of the Semmary's traditions m the last quarter of 
the nineteenth century. The school granted its first 
printed diploma ("Certificate of Graduation") in June 
1874 to Sallie Brome Morsell, who has the distinction of 
being the first official graduate. (Before this date, stu- 



dents who had finished the prescribed course of study 
with outstanding grades had received a "first degree tes- 
timonial," perhaps a hand-written document or an en- 
try in an official register. However, until opportunities 
for women's employment outside the home became 
more extensive in late nineteenth-century Maryland, 
there seemed to be little need for the bureaucratic for- 
malities of transcripts and diplomas. It is definitely not 
true, as persistent school legends contend, that students 
"graduated" as early as the 1840s.) Four more students 
graduated by 1879, and in the decade of the 1880s, 
thirty-one diplomas were awarded, seven each in 1886 
and 1889. Between 1890 and 1895, twenty-two pupils 
successfully completed the course of study at the Semi- 
nary. As the number of annual graduates increased, 
commencements became more formal and elaborate; 
special medals were awarded to top graduates, students 
read essays on current topics, and visiting dignitaries 
were commissioned to deliver orations to packed 
audiences. 

Despite the growing reputation and formality of St. 
Mary's Female Seminary in this period, costs remained 
quite reasonable. The basic English curriculum cost 
$180 a year, including all livmg expenses, and the Sem- 



C^^^ 



A Seminary Commencement, 29 June 1885 



It would be difficult to imagine a more delightful and ap- 
propriate spot for the beat ton of an Institution of learning 
than that of St. Mary's Female Seminary .... From a 
glance at the beautiful beds offhivers around the yard and 
building, the fertile fields . . . of waving corn, and the 
lovely expanse of water presented a scene which few can ex- 
ceed in beauty. A pleasant breeze came up from the water 
below and swept agreeably through the halls and spacious 
rooms. The stage and walls in the large parlor were beau- 
tifully and artistically decorated with flowers, ferns and 
wreaths, . . . and every available space seemed well filled 
with people. 

On the stage sat the Principal. Miss A. E. Thomas, 
and Misses Long and Hortense Mallier, Teachers of the In- 
stitution, DrJohnM. Brome. the Secretary and Treasurer 
of the Board of Trustees, and Mr B. Harris Camalier 
Just before the stage were the pupils, looking charming in 
their white dresses, whilst directly in front of them sat the 
Trustees. The programme consisted of original essays, recita- 
tions, vocal and instrumental music, . . . and the execu- 
tion of the pieces gave unmistakable evidence that the pupils 
had been ivell and carefully trained. . . . 

Gold medals were conferred upon {the Valedictorian.) 



Miss Emma Griffith {Montgomery County ) for general ex- 
cellence, . . . upon Miss Bettie Revell (Anne Arundel 
County) for the greatest improvement in Vocal Music, upon 
Misses Katie Polk (Baltimore), Edith Black (Frederick), 
and Marion Chamber laine (Baltimore) in instrumental 
music. Premiu?ns were awarded Misses Sallie Hinman 
(Calvert), Sadie Hollingsworth (Queen Anne's), Lulie 
Posey (Baltimore). Marion Chamberlaine (Baltimore), 
Lola Garner (St. Mary's). Sallie CisselK Howard), Edith 
Black (Frederick), and Addie Hammond. Delia Ellis, 
Carrie Chamberlaine, Ethel Gray, and Mamie Smith (St. 
Mary's County). 

After the distribution of premiums, Mr Camalier 
. . . address{ed} the school in the absence of Col. Harris, 
President of the Board of Trustees. . . . After the exercises 
were over, the courteous and popular Capt. Geoghegan, of 
the steamer Sue, which was then lying at Brome's Wharf 
invited all to take a little excursion down the classic St. 
Mary's and return, which was readily accepted by many 
and greatly enjoyed. Thus closed the day, long to be remem- 
bered among the brightest in the annals of the Institution. 

— Source: Undated but contemporaneous clipping from 
an unnamed newspaper. 



46 



inary's full schedule of annual charges was a mere $287- 
only $20 more than in 1846. But many Seminarians 
paid nothing at all. On a consistent basis between the 
late 1860s and the late 1940s, at least half of the annual 
student body was attending the school on full scholar- 
ship. In 1875, the trustees' annual report to the Genera! 
Assembly, required under the legislation of 1868, indi- 
cated that thirteen of twenty-three students had all of 
their expenses paid by scholarships, ten funded by the 
state allocations to the school and three provided by the 
Board from other sources. 

The reasonable charges and generous scholarships at 
St. Mary's in no way implied an inferior education in the 
late nineteenth century. The Report of the State Board of 
Education for 1878 revealed the academic breadth of the 
Seminary curriculum and refuted the implication that 
St. Mary's was merely a finishing school in the "parlor 
arts." In that year, sixteen students were enrolled in in- 
strumental music, twelve in French, ten in rhetoric, 
eight in natural philosophy, four each in botany, chem- 
istry, geometry, and algebra, and two each in logic, 
drawing, physiology, and English literature. The 1895 
school catalog listed faculty positions in art and art his- 
tory, English, French, Latin, German, home eco- 
nomics, natural sciences, "higher mathematics," and all 
types of music. Student accomplishments in such sub- 
jects were showcased annually in the end-of-year public 
oral examination, which apparently became a popular 
event in the local community. In 1879, a county news- 
paper reported that student performance on these ex- 
aminations "reflected credit" on the Seminary and made 
the school in "merit at least equal to any within the 
limits of our state." The article concluded that "it is 
gratifying to note that proper interest is being man- 
ifested by friends of the female culture throughout the 
state towards this seminary." 

Such praise and positive publicity were largely the 
result of the talents and dedication of the Seminary 
principals in the last quarter of the nineteenth century. 
As the trustees learned early in the history of the 
school, the top administrator could make or break the 
institution. Thanks in large measure to state funding in 
the 1860s, the Seminary gradually attracted, and in- 
creasingly retained, accomplished, committed teachers 
to the principalship. After eight principals had come 
and gone between 1846 and 1862, the local Gardiner 
family provided the first semblance of continuity in that 
office. Descended from seventeenth-century settlers. 
Miss Lucy L. Gardiner served as principal from August 
1862 until her death in August 1869, whereupon her 
sister. Miss Mary Gardiner, succeeded her until August 
1870. From that date until August 1872, the third sis- 



^^., M^f j*ti Seminary, 
ST, M?^|!Y'S COUrJTY, MyiBYi/iTJD. 

«cvi j3 «P O X^ J* 

0/ tloo r'/r<vdo in MudUs and S^^j)orimc7ii 



-. /(('M i-^^^zJ^ti-C '! 



<^&r 






STUDIES. 

Bvlanif, 
•ff/tr.mhtri/, 

gecijraphij, 
Khtory, 

fVafural Pkifosophtf^ 
i¥alHral /^istori/, 
Jltti hematics J 
■£4rithm€tic, 



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-t / ^ li Srenehj 



^< 




Vocal, 
" Puuu; 

'i Famtinij, 

i; ^omposiilcn, 
\^ fy\ Seettcr ^riling, 
[j Penmamtip, 

] JnduMry P 6Mppiiealion[^ '^ ^'^^ 
^ptUiii^antl &*Miuff^\,-C / ^^} Sailed ^uties^ \p /^^ 

Tteadinff, ' j' *«r/rt^* and ^tJer, K / ** 

i '^redifs as Mcnilcr^ \ ^ 



300 is nsbumed the standard of perfection, and the marks obtaiued show 
the exiK-t amount of failures during%hc period. Any mark below 275 is 
esteemed deficient. 
* If :i pupil stands high in Deportment, Industry and Application, parents^ \ 

should not complain, though her atattAng in studioti bo not so high. 

A. rare early report card from the Female Seminary, ca. 1870. 



ter, Miss Lottie L. Gardiner, served as co-principal with 
Miss Henrietta K. Tilghman. 

Another prominent county family dominated the 
office of principal for the next twenty-three years, 
bringing continuity in leadership during the golden age 
of the nineteenth-century Seminary. Mrs. James Richard 
(Jeannette) Thomas, daughter of Dr. Walter Hanson 
Stone Briscoe of Sotterley Plantation and wife of the St. 
Mary's City postmaster, was continuously elected to 
one-year terms as principal from September 1872 until 
her death in November 1881. Her daughter, Annie 
Elizabeth (Lizzie) Thomas '77 (after 1894, Mrs. John 
Gray Lilburn) stepped in to assume the duties of her 
mother in the middle of the school year, although she 
was barely older than many of the Seminary students. 
"Dear Miss Lizzie" remained in office until 30 June 
1895, becoming the most popular and longest-serving 
principal of St. Mary's Female Seminary in the nine- 
teenth century. This much-loved woman also served 
concurrently as the first female postmaster at St. Mary's 



47 



City (the post office was located in Calvert Hall), and 
she was fondly remembered by two generations of stu- 
dents as an inspiring teacher, administrator, and active 
member of the later Alumnae Association until her 
death in 1932. 

When "Miss Lizzie" left office in 1895, seven can- 
didates applied to be the next principal— a gratifying 
indication that the Seminary had finally attained respec- 
tability and stability. The Board elected as principal 
thirty-nine-year-old Miss Laurel Richardson Langley, 
daughter of the late James R. Langley (Seminary trustee, 
1872-1886), and she remained in office for five years. 
Like the Gardiners and Thomases before them, the 
Langley family provided strong support to the Semi- 
nary; while Laurel was principal, her sister. Miss Leila 
Langley, taught English, and their mother, Mrs. Indi- 
ana Milburn Langley, taught home economics. (The 
family tradition continues with the current service of 
Trustee J. Frank Raley, Jr. , a distant Langley descendant.) 

In August 1900, Mrs. Lucy Virginia Maddox as- 
sumed the principalship of St. Mary's Female Seminary 



and achieved the longest tenure of any person in that 
position-twenty-three years, until her retirement on 
30 June 1923- Standing for reelection each year, Mrs. 
Maddox was a patient and dedicated administrator who 
never had an office of her own and who often netted less 
than $200 in annual salary, after paying most expenses 
and all staff salaries out of a lump-sum allocated to her 
by the Board of Trustees. Her skillful and loving service 
to the Seminary barkened back to simpler times and 
in some ways kept the school in the nineteenth century 
until her retirement. After Mrs. Maddox, St. Mary's 
would have only two more principals/presidents until 
1969. 

The continuity and faithful service of the Seminary 
principals were matched by the long tenures and admi- 
rable harmony achieved by the Board of Trustees in the 
half century between 1870 and 1920. The trustees' col- 
lective and individual length of service reflected the 
success they brought to, and the satisfaction they de- 
rived from, the school. Of the fourteen trustees who 
were named to the new Board in 1858, Board President 



C^^ 




Mrs. Annie Elizabeth Thomas Lilburn (1859-1932)- 
"Dear Miss Lizzie"— who had the longest tenure of any 
Semiyiary principal in the nineteenth century (November 
1881 to June 1893). She was the only St. Mary's graduate 
(1877) ever to serve as the school's chief executive. 



The Reward of Affection for a Teacher's Dedication 

"Going Home" 
In memory oj Mrs. John Gray Lilburn. former Principal of 
St. Mary's Seminary. Maryland, and State Regent of 
Daughters of American Revolution, by her pupil, Lila 
Sadelia Gray '98. 

We carried her home— not in her bloom of youth 
And beauty— not in her croivded years— 
But when her work was done. Uprightness and truth 
She spread. Her energies and fears 
Built sterling character, that could not fill 
Beneath a fine ideal. Enthusiastic fire 
Spread beneath rich consciousness— 'til each and all 
Possessed for life the pattern of her desire. 
And now small Trinity receives her, and she sleeps 
Beneath a cedar's shade she loved full well- 
Nearby a rose bush blooms, and ivy silent creeps. 
St. Mary's River will in music tell 
Of sacred things-things beautiful-silent in her heart- 
Associations splendor- grass, buttercups and clover. 
The flirting butterflies and bees that sail and dart- 
The sun, the moon, the stars that silently watch over 

-Source: Original typescript, undated, glued to a page in 
Betty Revell Wathen's journal of alumnae proceedings, St. 
Mary's College Alumni Archives. 



48 




The Seminary faculty in the late 1890s. Principal Laurel R. Langley is in the center 



Billingsley served sixteen years until his death in De- 
cember 1874; Doctor Brome, twenty-nine years; John 
Abell, twenty-nineyears; John Carpenter, twenty-eight 
years; George W. Morgan, twenty-six years; Charles 
Medley, twenty-five years; Doctor Waring, twenty-five 
years; Benjamin Tippett, eighteen years; and James 
Yates, sixteen years. Most of the other trustees from 
the mid-nineteenth century served at least a decade. 
The next generation of trustees included three men 
(Benjamin Harris Camalier, Stephen M. Jones, and 
C. Ethelbert Abell) who served on the Board more than 
forty years, three more who served between thirty-two 
and thirty-seven years (J. Marshall Dent, Joseph H. 
Key, and Noble L. Penn), and eight who remained in 
office at least twenty years (Louis C. Combs, Giles F. 
Dyer, John A. B. Shermantine, James Thomas Raley, 
J. Parran Crane, Robert T Barber, Thomas F. Foxwell, 
and Richard H. Garner). 

When vacancies occurred on the Board, the contin- 



uity of leadership was maintained by the appointment 
of close friends or family members. Edward S. Abell 
served from 1870 to 1889, concurrently with John B. 
Abell; James F. Abell assumed John's seat in April 1887 
and served until his death in 1899, whereupon Charles 
Abell took over until his own death in August 1923. 
He was succeeded in that year by C. Ethelbert Abell, 
who remained on the Board until his retirement in 
1964. When John E. Carpenter resigned in June 1886, 
his brother, J. Walter Carpenter, was elected to this 
"Methodist seat" and served until his death in 1898, the 
last ten years as Board treasurer. Leonardtown lawyer 
and former clerk of the Circuit Court John A. Camalier 
was elected to the Board in September 1874 and served 
until his death in June 1892, whereupon his son, Ben- 
jamin Harris Camalier, state's attorney and judge ot the 
Circuit Court, assumed his seat and remained a valued 
trustee until 1936. George Frederick Maddox, aide to 
Governor Swann at a critical time for the Seminary and 



49 




Mrs. Lucy Virginia Maddox id. 1949). the longest serving 
of any principal of St. Mary's Female Seminary {August 
1900-Junel923). 



later state senator, served on the Board in the late 1860s 
alongside his father-in-law, the Honorable Benjamin 
Gwinn Harris, United States Congressman (1863- 
1867) and president of the Board of Trustees, 1875 to 
1895 . Both men died at Ellenborough, the Harris estate 
south of Leonardtown, where a fire in 1872 destroyed 
the Board Minutes for 1854-1872. 

Throughout the late nineteenth century, the close- 
knit native countians who comprised the Seminary's 
independent Board of Trustees developed enduring tra- 
ditions and strong bonds of affection. The Board met 
every three months at a Leonardtown hotel (Moore's, 
Shank's, Down's, or Raley's) or at the Seminary itself, 
but it is clear that they kept in close touch between 
meetings. For eight decades, these prominent local 
leaders in politics, business, and the law nurtured a 
deep commitment to the Seminary and used the pride 
they felt for it to reinforce their common county heri- 
tage and old family ties. One can sense the affection that 
existed among the trustees, as the Board Minutes re- 
cord the sorrow felt when vital records were destroyed 
by fire; the sensitivity toward colleagues all too ob- 
viously infirm; and the grateful acknowledgement of 
large cash advances to the school from the treasurer's 
own pocket. When death inevitably depleted the ranks 



of long-serving "brother members," the trustees always 
composed moving eulogies, read them into the record, 
and had the tributes published in local newspapers. 
When two of the oldest and most faithful Board mem- 
bers. Captain Raley and President Harris, died within a 
month of each other m the spring of 1895, the trustees 
were "forced to the conclusion that the last links which 
bind us to the past and which so united and strength- 
ened . . . this time-honored Institution are fast . . . 
breaking away." 

A sense of nostalgia was ever present in the deliber- 
ations of the trustees, but so too was an enthusiasm for 
maintaining progress at the Seminary. With a growing 
administrative professionalism-demonstrated by the 
creation of standing committees of Finance (March 
1870), Rules (May 1871), and Buildings and Grounds 
(April 1878)-the Board of Trustees established many 
important precedents in the last third ot the nineteenth 
century that enriched the Seminary and continue to in- 
fluence the College today. On 21 September 1870, the 
trustees awarded the first full merit scholarships at the 
Seminary, and twenty-three years later, they proposed 
competitive examinations for such tuition, room, and 
board awards. The Board authorized the school's first 
diplomas in June 1874, and in 1889, proposed the first 
seal or logo on those documents. In 1884, the trustees 
began granting honors and prizes to outstanding grad- 
uates, and in order to make commencement the most 
notable affair in the academic calendar, they recuited 
distinguished guest speakers (from 1887 on) and even 
paid for travel expenses ($9 in 1890). They also cul- 
tivat^cTthe strong historic values of the Monument 
School by authorizing the first school holiday for a com- 
memorative event (the public dedication of the state's 
Leonard Calvert Memorial obelisk on 3 June 1891) and 
recommended the writing of the Seminary's first history 
in 1887. The Board helped stimulate the formation ot 
student organizations by allocating $20 to the first one- 
the "Young Ladies of the Literary Society"-on 1 April 
1885. Finally, as some of the most worldly-wise citizens 
in Southern Maryland, the Seminary trustees took care 
to prepare the school for the challenges of the future by 
authorizing, on 23 October 1888, the first investments 
toward creating an independent endowment. 

The First Building Boom, 1890-1920 
Only two decades after the state had stabilized the fi- 
nances of the Seminary, growing enrollments necessi- 
tated an enlargement of the physical plant to better 
serve the students. Committed to the modernization, 
growth, and improvement of the campus, the trustees 
in the late 1880s fixed the roof and furnace of Calvert 



50 




A commencement program for 1901. 



Hall and painted its exterior, terraced the riverbank, 
drilled a new artesian well, installed fire escapes and ex- 
tinguishers, and repaired the outbuildings. However, 
the school still lacked space, and for the first time since 



the Seminary opened in 1846, new campus construction 
was planned. Convincing officials in Annapolis that the 
"state scholars" needed "a Hall for gymnastic exercises 
. . . and public exhibitions," the trustees in 1891 ob- 
tained $1,000 in special funds from the General Assem- 
bly. They constructed a simple but commodious frame 
building with a large stage some twenty-nine feet from 
the river wall of Calvert Hall at a total cost of $1,551.87. 
Furnished with $105 worth of wooden chairs, this new 
building, soon to be known as "The Annex," was first 
used at the commencement exercises on 22 June 1892. 
This initial success in lobbying Annapolis for sup- 
plemental funds and expanded facilities generated a 
momentum for still more improvements on campus. In 
1900, with the "school full" and a new building consid- 
ered "absolutely necessary," the trustees sought a special 
appropriation of $6,000-later raised to $IO,000-from 
the legislature. The Board president. Circuit Court 
Judge J. Parran Crane, actually wrote the bill that he 
and two other trustees (a present and former state's at- 
torney) lobbied for in the capital. The General Assem- 
bly in April 1902 voted the Seminary $8,000 for new 
construction. The trustees immediately engaged the 
services of George W. Corbitt, an architect from Wash-tf 
ington, D.C. , and hired Elias C. Milburn to construct a 
multipurpose brick building with a large assembly hall 
on the first floor and dormitory rooms on the second. 
However, the estimated costs proved too high, and the 
trustees were forced to retain (and relocate) the wooden 
Annex and to erect a smaller, less elaborate, brick build- 



^=^^ 



A Moving Tribute for Trustee Brome 

The Committee appointed by the Trustees of this Seminary 
at their last meeting to suggest suitable proceedings commem- 
orative of the character of our late deceased brother trustee 
Doct John M. Brome and expressive of our sorrow on ac- 
count of his mournful separation from us. present to the 
Board of Trustees the following resolutions and recommend 
their adoption- 
Resolved that as Trustees of this Seminary we greatly 
deplore the loss it has suffered by the death of Doctor Brome 
u'hose zeal was constantly displayed for its advancement not 
only in the perfonnance of his duty as trustee, but by per- 
sonal devotion to its interests: 

Resolved that as Doctor Brome was an intelligent, 
amiable and friendly gentleman he soon and fully enjoyed 
the esteem and friendship of the members of this Board, and 
indeed not only of us. but of all other persons ivho had the 
pleasure of his acquaintance. His benevolence and hospi- 



tality were proverbial, and his social intercourse and con- 
versation highly pleasant and agreeable. 

Charity was always recognized by him as a Christian 
debt, and was cheerfully paid not only from a sense of 
Christian duty, but from the promptings of a naturally hu- 
mane heart. 

Resolved that by the death of Doct. Brome, the people of 
this county have lost a most useful worthy and enterprising 
citizen, ivhether viewed in any public position he ever occu- 
pied, or an energetic (and thus exemplary ) farmer and planter, 
or in connecting his private interests with this county's per- 
manent dei'elopment: and for these reasons the reflecting pub- 
lic will lament his removal from their midst. . . . 

{signed) Benj G Harris 
Jos. H. Key 
J no. A. Camalier 
Ja.T. M. Raley 

-Source: Board of Trustees Minutes, 4 April 1888. 



51 




The "Alma Mater" of St. Mary's Female Seminary, 
written in 1893 by Henrietta ("Etta"} Porter Coston 
Lockner- here pictured in her graduation portrait in 
June 1892. 



tiAM-*-**. 


















l?!^ i,Jr*^ *>*<--^ *.ry^*^i^^ 



A ^^>.«*-«,^z^^ L ■ o^i'-e-^-*-^'!-' . 






ing flush against, but apparently not connected to, the 
riverside wall of Calvert Hall. This two-story "School 
Building," as it was called when completed in the 
spring of 1903, contained a study hall and three class- 
rooms on the first floor and dormitory rooms on the 
second. During the construction, the contractor also 
apparently built the brick portals that still front on 
the wharf road, and in early 1905, a large iron gate was 
installed. 

No sooner was the "School Building" occupied than 
the Board of Trustees, on 7 December 1903, outlined a 
strategy to "urge state aid to erect a new Hall & other 
improvements so much needed," especially the replace- 
ment of "the Frame Building [Annex] now so unsat- 
isfactory." On 20 July 1906, the trustees met at the 
Leonardtown restaurant operated by Confederate Cap- 
tain C. B. Wise to open sealed bids for the new build- 
ing and even received one by "Phone." The Board 
accepted the bid of $7,825 from Elias Milburn, which 
was $2,000 to $5,000 lower than all the others. Al- 
though the work was often interrupted by controversies 
between the trustees and the contractor and in the end 
appeared "very rough" to architect Corbitt, the new 
"Music Hall" (the present St. Mary's Hall) was finished 
in time to hold commencement exercises there on 10 
June 1908. 

The "building boom" that had lasted seventeen 
years came to a sudden halt in 1908, and the state ada- 
mantly refused to pay for more improvements-even a 
desperately needed infirmary. It would be another sev- 
enteen years before the state would allocate additional 
funds for construction at the Seminary. Instead of lob- 
bying legislators, consultmg blueprints, and meeting 
with architects, school officials again concentrated on 
the "little things" that could improve the life of the 
Seminarians. They installed one hundred acetylene gas 
lights throughout the dormitories and classrooms by 
1910 (replacing antiquated whale oil fixtures), repaired 
the furnace almost yearly, erected a new water tank be- 
hind Calvert Hall, and built the school's first tennis 
courts. In 1911, the trustees purchased a carriage and 
harness "for church going," and at times, they person- 
ally escorted students to the Sunday services of their 
choice. Four years later, the Board appointed the Semi- 
nary's first staff physician, despite the lack of an infirm- 
ary building. 

In the era of World War I, Seminary officials had to 
make do with meager financial resources, and for the 
first time in the school's history, they found the state 
bureaucracy to be more of a hindrance than a help. In 
1913, William H. Davenport, secretary of the Board of 
State Aid and Charities, through which the most recent 



52 






/\ wre- r/fzr of the frame Annex {dedicated in June IH92 )-the first aiadentic building constructed on campus since lH~i3. 



construction projects had been funded, visited the St. 
Mary's campus and made a thorough investigation of its 
operations. He criticized the unreliable water pumping 
system, the method of sewage disposal, deficient fur- 
nishings in classrooms and dormitories, the shortage of 
books in the library, the absence of science laboratories, 
and the byzantine accounting procedures that required 
the principal to cover virtually all expenses out of a sin- 
gle, annual Board appropriation of between $5,200 and 
$5,800. Much of Davenport's lengthy report smacked 
of an urban bias against an institution that he consid- 
ered too rural and too small to justify state support in a 
new era of standardized, "efficient" public education. 
Davenport unfairly criticized the Board for not provid- 
ing buildings, furnishings, and student services that 
only more money could have addressed; ironically, his 
investigation of the school immediately preceded a pe- 
riod (1915-1917) when the state treasurer failed to 
honor the financial commitments originally made to 



the Seminary by the legislature in 1868. Forced to bor- 
row thousands of dollars to meet routine operating 
expenses and to pay teachers' salaries, the trustees suc- 
cessfully weathered the crisis while contmuing to sup- 
port half the student body on full scholarships. Indeed, 
during this period, the bonds grew stronger between 
Board members and the Seminary's "efficient corps of 
teachers." 

The students and staff of St. Mary's Female Semi- 
nary had learned long before that abundant financial 
resources and elegant campus facilities have little di- 
rect bearing on the educational excellence of a school. 
Even in its darkest, most destitute days, the Seminary 
had placed its emphasis on the close contacts between 
caring teachers and a small core of interested students. 
This boarding school aspired to create, and had largely 
achieved, a family of learning across the generations, in 
which a highly controlled academic environment nur- 
tured the individual talents of varied students. In 1914, 



53 



WWtJ 





A Seminary outing on the steanihiut. I'lirce Rivers, in 1915. The students in the foreground are. from left to right, 
Josephine Saunders, Alice Mtnnick, and Mary Costin. With them is Captain Bill Geoghegan. 



A View of Student Life, 1911-1914 

My trips to the school . . . were up the bay by Chop tank 
Rit'er steamer, then down from Baltimore. We rode prac- 
tically all night, from Pier 3 on Light Street, on the 
steamers Three Rivers and Northumberland, of the 
Maryland, Delaware and Virginia Line. The steamers, 
leaving Baltimore at 4.45 PM, arrived at St. Mary's at 
3 AM the following day, and Ernest, the school's handy- 
man, met the students at the pier and hauled their luggage 
to the dormitory by wheelbarrow. . . . 

Our wardrobes were terribly plain. We wore middy 
blouses and navy blue skirts, with oxfords or tennis shoes. 
For evening wear ive could dress in lighter colors, as long as 
the dress cloth was heavy. No slippers or low shoes allowed 
after November L No evening gowns, no cosmetics of any 
sort. With family per?nission. we could write and receive 
letters from a few friends, but only a few. 

Our light was provided by gas jets. We had running 
water, but only u'hen the wind blew. A windmill operated a 
pump which kept our reservoir filled in breezy weather. In 
calm weather we carried our own water and washed in 
basins. {In our dorm rooms} most of us created . . . what 
was the rage then— a "cozy corner" . . . {consisting} of a 
bed dressed as a couch, often with a colorful parasol sus- 
pended overhead, with pictures, photographs, fans and other 
souvenirs tacked on the walls nearby. . . . 

We lived by a schedule which began at 6.15 in the 
morning with the rising bell and ended with the 9.30 PM 
lights-out bell. If we didn't get too many demerits through 



the week for being late to meals or class, for running through 
the halls, for being untidy or unladylike in any other way, 
we were reivarded on our day off, Monday, with a trip by 
oxcart or wagon to Park Hall. 4 miles away. Park Hall's 
only attraction was a country store, ivhere we bought candy, 
hair ribbons, black cotton hose, peanut butter, pickles, 
crackers, cookies and soon. We weren't supposed to eat in our 
rooms, but most of us had hidden hoards of food for after- 
hour snacks. We iveren't supposed to play cards, either . . . 

We had other activities. We put on plays and minstrel 
shows, recitals, dances ( no male partners), Halloween par- 
ties. Our Colonial Ball was a tremendous affair, all in 
costume, . . . {with} imaginary guests- Mistress Brent, 
Lady Baltimore, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson. 
We danced the landers, the waltz and the Virginia reel 
and. . . . our behavior had to be ever so forjna I. We went 
swimming {seniors were allowed to go rowing) in the St. 
Mary's River We tramped through the woods and gathered 
flowers and wild asparagus. 

We were never bored. Once a year ive made an a II -day 
trip on the steamer Three Rivers frofn the school over to 
Coan and Kinsale in Virginia. These two little towns 
didn't have much more to offer than . . . Park Hall, but 
the ride there and back was fun. We sang the then latest 
songs, "Too Much Mustard," "Red Wing," "Row, Roiv, 
Row, " and the "Oceana Roll. " 

-Source: Mildred Spedden McDorman 14, "Study and 
Fun at the 'Monument School,' " Baltimore Sunday Sun Maga- 
ztne. 10 March 1963, 2. 



54 



Mrs. Maddox told the parents oi prospective students 
"not to rush your daughters through school," for "the 
painstaking and serious task of acquiring an education" 
must be "very thorough." In that year, the Seminary 
required students to take thirty-six halt-hour periods in 
a four-day week, not counting music lessons, which 
Secretary Davenport found to be "very heavy for Second- 
ary school work." (St. Mary's traditionally held classes 
Tuesdays through Fridays into the mid-twentieth cen- 
tury.) Eight semesters of satisfactory coursework were 
now required for a diploma, and several students stayed 
an extra year to "pursue special studies" in a "Post- 
Graduate" program. 

While Seminarians endured a rigid disciplinary 
code that governed their behavior and deportment both 
on and off campus, they enjoyed an extensive array 
of courses taught by highly qualified instructors. The 
1914-15 faculty included Miss Madeline Bernays (Royal 
Conservatory, London), piano; Miss Alice Miller (Ot- 
terbein University), piano and voice; Miss Caroline 
Mullikin (A.B., Goucher College), mathematics, chem- 
istry, and physics; Miss Alice Constance Moore (A.B., 
Synodical College), Latin and English; Miss Ethel Joy 
(Western Maryland College), American and English 
literature, ancient and modern history, mythology, 
grammar, rhetoric, composition, and French; and Miss 
Marjorie Hebb Maddox (St. Mary's Female Seminary 
'09), freshman spelling, elementary grammar, com- 
position, reading, literature, United States history, 
political geography, arithmetic, and physiology. The ac- 
ademic reputation of St. Mary's had become so good in 
the late 1890s that the State of Maryland granted Sem- 
inary graduates "similar and equal privileges" with 
those of the State Normal School at Towson, which al- 
lowed them to "teach in the public schools of the . . . 
State without further examination." Between 1900 and 
1910, 70 percent of the graduates of St. Mary's Female 
Seminary (fifty-seven out of eighty-one) adopted teach- 
ing as a profession. That trend was perhaps the most 
fitting expression of gratitude to the teachers who had 
encouraged the discovery and development of their stu- 
dents' abilities. A 1911 graduate, Lettie Marshall Dent, 
became the first female county superintendent of 
schools in the State of Maryland, serving her native 
county of St. Mary's and bringing credit to the Semi- 
nary in that post from 1928 to 1957. 

The Seminary Legacy 

St. Mary's Female Seminary had enjoyed such success in 
the late nineteenth century that it seemed to want to 
remain in that era long after the twentieth century had 
arrived. Although it kept pace with current educational 



trends, the school seemed "old-fashioned" in the ap- 
pearance and ambience of its campus and in the Vic- 
torian values it cultivated into the 1920s. For those who 
knew the school best, these were special qualities to be 
cherished, and generations of women attended the Sem- 
inary precisely to experience the same things their an- 
cestors had. Outside critics, however, increasingly found 
those characteristics objectionable after 1900- They ac- 
cused the Seminary of being too isolated, too small, too 

^ 



An Outsider's Appraisal of Life 
at the Seminary, 1913 

The seicerage and waste water runs through the under- 
ground pipes to the bluff leading down to the River The 
terra-cot ta pipe conveying it has not been continued far 
enough but should by all means be run sufficient distance 
out into the River to avoid flies and the odors that arise. 

The present method of disposing of garbage is to dump 
same in a chute which runs down into the River, where, in 
summer time . . . aflat boat is always kept anchored and 
. . . is pushed out into the . . . river and there dumped. 

Most of the equipment in the class rooms is very inade- 
quate. . . . The Recitation Rooms are also lacking in 
maps, pictures and other paraphernalia for properly teach- 
ing. . . . The teaching of chemistry and physics without 
laboratory work is ei'eryivhere now regarded as a farce 
and it is essential . . . that adequate laboratory facilities 
be furnished. 

There are canoes and a boat supplied for rowing on the 
River and the girls also swim during the summer months. 
The croquet, basket-ball and tennis court also help to give 
sufficient exercise, in view of the fact that . . . the girls 
exercise at least one-half hour {each day} under the super- 
vision of the teacher. 

The Dormitory arrangements consist of sleeping rooms 
about 10 X 16. in which two and sometimes three girls 
room. . . . The furniture is fairly adequate but is exceed- 
ingly miscellaneous in character, there being hardly a com- 
plete set of furniture in any room. . . . The girls are 
obliged to hang their dresses and suits on racks or nails in 
the walls without any protection from dust or sunlight. 

The students . . . are supposed to carry all thirty -six 
half hour periods per week in addition to music. This 
course strikes me as very heavy for Secondary school work, 
and I . . . suggest that . . . a system of election be in- 
stalled which will permit even wider scope of studies. 

-Source: Report of the Secretary (William H. Daven- 
port) of the Board of State Aid and Charities, after a visit to 
the Seminary, 1-3 April 1913- 



55 




The School Building, completed in Spring 1903: shoim here soon after construction and before it was painted to match the 
main building. Note the windmill to the left, which powered the pump /or the artesian well. 








f*<Si-.^ 



An early view of Music Hall {now St. Mary's Hall), in the firegroumt. ihis building was dcdiuiiat in June 1908 and was 
the last construction on campus until 1923. 



56 



elitist, and too lavish in its spending on each student 
for a school in the twentieth century. Many called it 
an anachronism and an anomaly as a public boarding 
school for girls in an era of "progressive" education. 

However, the legacy of the Seminary-an affectio- 
nate but detiant pride that graduates felt for the special 
place and the special people responsible for a uniquely- 
nurturing education-proved stronger than its critics. 
The resilience that kept the school alive was derived 
from the loyalty of its students to the traditional values 
of the Seminary The formation of the Alumnae Asso- 
ciation in 1917-a major institutional milestone that 
symbolized the ability and willingness of past students 
to assist those of the present and future- provided a tan- 
gible focus for pride in the Seminary and helped rally 
citizens to the school's defense on several key occasions. 

The fierce loyalties of former students were instilled 
by the special environment of a four-year boarding 
school in an isolated place with a timeless heritage. Sec- 
retary Davenport was neither the first nor the last critic 
to denounce "the location of the Institution . . . [as] 
unfortunate." But the residents of the Seminary knew 
better. The rural isolation of St. Mary's City removed 
most of the distractions and diversions that interfered 
with academics, while encouraging a warm and conge- 
nial atmosphere to flourish among the girls of Calvert 
Hall. Moreover, the school's location amid ancient relics 
that recalled memorable principles of the past imparted 
a valuable perspective to youths thinking only ot their 
individual futures. The place was, and is, the essence of 
the Monument School's enduring and endearing charm. 

School pride was diffused across the generations and 
throughout the state because the Seminary's special 
people made people feel special. Attesting to this qual- 
ity were hundreds of former students from several eras, 
who came from poor families and attended St. Mary's 
free of charge, proof positive that the school may have 
been isolated but never inaccessible. Among the most 
special people associated with the Seminary were "Dear 
Miss Lizzie" and "Madame Maddox," the past princi- 
pals of affectionate memory who continued to serve the 
school years after they ceased drawing salaries. They in- 
stilled in their many students the genteel values of the 
nineteenth century long after it had ended and, in ef- 
fect, demonstrated the positive benefits of institutional 
anachronism. In the trying, testing months that fol- 
lowed the complete destruction in 1924 of Calvert Hall, 
symbol and centerpiece of St. Mary's Female Seminary, 
nostalgia for the distinguished past of this old-fashioned 
school proved vital to its future. 

The pride, the place, and the people who made the 
Seminary what it was are with us still, more relevant 



and meaningful than ever. The Monument School of the 
People lives on, because St. Mary's Female Seminary 
persisted with the innovations of the 1840s and retained 
them as the traditions of the 1900s-outlasting its many 
critics until the anachronism and impracticality of a 
small, rural, residential, public school of affordable aca- 
demic excellence became valued once again. 



^f=::>^:^v. 




'O::^^?^^-^ 


1 


An Estimate of Resources and Expenditures for the 
1916-17 School Year 


Resources 


$2,500.00 

6,000.00 

2,550.00 
1,050.00 

. 600.00 
$12,700.00 


Current Appropriation 

(Omnibus Bill, 1914) 

Fees from Boarding Pupils 

-15 pupils at $170 


7 pupils (5' $150 


Fees for music pupils— 

15 pupils (a) $ 40 




E.xpenses 

Salaries- 
Treasurer 

Principal (also allowed board & gardm} 
2 Music teachers («' $475 and board . 
4 Classical teaihers (cv $450 and board 

Coal 


$ 100.00 

750.00 

. 950.00 

1.800.00 

. 700.00 

. 150.00 

50.00 

50.00 

. 800.00 

. 300.00 

. 150.00 

100.00 

. 150.00 

200.00 

OS. 5,100.00 

. 900.00 

$12,250.00 
$ 4W.00 


Carbide for gas machine 

Wood 


Coal Od 


Ordinary repairs and furniture 




Offu-e Expenses, printing and postage 

Commencement, Trustees' and visitors expenses 


Books (furnished free to scholarship students) 
Board-60 persons @ $101 month X 8'/-' w 




-Source: William H. Davenport, "Memorandum of Sug- 
gested Changes in Financial Methods of St. Mary's Female Semi- 
nary" (undated but ca. 1916-1917). 



57 



c^^^:) 



The Seminary "Prison" of 1898 



St. Mary's Prison Cell No. 12 
Sept. 24, 1898 

Dear Mama. 

Please let me come hoine. I could not stay here until Christ- 
mas if I was paid $10 per day. I cried myself to sleep last 
night & cried so much today that Miss Palmer (the nice 




Miss Grace Linwood Gibson, author of the accompanying 
"letter from prison, " in her graduation portrait, June 1901. 
She not only survived those awful early days of homesickness 
to graduate from the Seminary, she became a teacher 



teacher I told you about) had to make a baby out of me. 
. . . {0}h mama you know I can't bear such lonesome soli- 
tude as this, (if) you let me come . . . I will neper say I 
dislike Centreville again. 

I like most of my teachers very much, but they are so strict. 
We have 50 rules to keep. 

When other things are sent, please send something to eat, I 
am starved. All you have to eat is fish and I don't love it 
much as you know, and the coffee is strong enough to ivalk 
out the door at 10 miles per minute. . . . We had warm 
rolls for supper, the first we have had. They were about the 
size of a ivalnut. . . . {On Sunday) we had chicken or 
rather a tough rooster and gravy that resembled slops and 
rice tvithout either sugar or milk and one little sweet potato 
that nearly broke my heart, for mama, you know how I 
love them. 

Mama please write a letter saying I can come home at any 
time and send me some money for boat fare and a dollar also 
for a berth for I will be on the boat from 6 p.m. until early 
the next morning. 

Do all I tell you and oblige your poor home-sick daughter 
Give my love to everybody in Centreville but don't tell them 
I am coming {home) for maybe when you say I can come I 
will want to stay. Kiss Helen, papa & May for me & give 
my love to Nellie if you see her 

Grace, poor hungry home-sick 
Grace {L. Gibson) 

Don't let Grace come home. She will be alright in a few 
days. She has the blues right now. I'll take care of her 

her schoolmate 

Ella Hodgson 

-Source: Alumni Newsletter. Vol. XVI No. 3 (Fall 1967). 



58 




Stiaknt:) iif St. Mary's Feitiale Seminary gather on the steps of Calvert Hall in 1915. 

And when life's ray 

Shall fade away 

To evening's gentle teaming 

May we all look back 

O'er its varied track 

To this spot, where 

All was morning. 

-An alumnae tribute to Mrs. Maddox, at her last commence- 
ment as principal, June 1923 



59 




Calvert Hall. St. Mary's Female Seminary, as it looked before the fire of 1924- 



^\Lk 




•^^i^jfe^' 









The ritius uf ulJ Luhirl ILill afltr llj<. fin of ') juniuiry 1924- 



60 



This AUirylaiid Bethlehem iij knuhms ciud 

understanding . . . has been one oj the great 

educational . . . leaders of the country: its example 

has contributed no little to enlarging religious and 

educational freedom and m making bigotry . . . 

abhorrent to all true descendants of the 

Maryland-born at St. Mary's City. 

— An article on St. Mary's Female Seminary, Baltimore 

News- American. 7 August 1924 

-^29 



TRIALS AND TRIUMPHS: 

Miss Frances Junior College, 1923—1948 



CHAPTER III 



Among the many transformations that brought 
St. Mary's College to this sesquicentennial an- 
niversary, the Junior College years (1926-1968) repre- 
sent a critical intermediate stage in the evolution of the 
mature, secure institution of today. If we envision the 
present four-year College as a blossoming flower, and 
the Female Seminary as the seed that imparted a time- 
less heritage, then the Junior College would be the stem 
ot the plant-a sturdy stalk, resilient to the buffeting 
winds ot change- that grew from the seed and permitted 
the flower to reach the sunlight. 

St. Mary's Female Seminary-Junior College, the 
first junior college in Maryland, was a daring experi- 
ment that continued this school's reputation as an edu- 
cational pioneer. This chapter will focus on the creation 
and operation of the Junior College in its first two dec- 
ades, with particular emphasis on its founder, M. Adele 
France. Rightly regarded as the "School Mother," Miss 
France was an inspired and affectionate leader who 
served St. Mary's for twenty-five years- the longest ten- 
ure of any chief executive in the school's history. 

The Dawn of a Neit Age 

The 1923 — 24 academic year was one of the great turn- 
ing points in the history of St. Mary's College, for 
events both destructive and creative brought the Fe- 
male Seminary into the twentieth century almost over- 
night. The old Seminary, which perhaps had grown too 
secure in the stable and conservative administration of 
Lucy "Virginia Maddox since 1900, was ripe for change 



and ready for a challenge. When Mrs. Maddox an- 
nounced that she would retire in June 1923, the Board 
of Trustees unanimously elected Miss M. Adele France, 
aged 43, as her successor. A native of Chestertown, 
Miss France^graduated from Washington College in 
1905 with a major in mathematics and earned Master's 
degrees from her alma mater and Teachers College of 
Columbia University. Miss France had been a "highly 
valued teacher" at St. Mary's from 1909 to 1913, leaving 
to become a supervisor of secondary schools in Nash- 
ville, Tennessee, and on Maryland's Eastern Shore. As 
one alumna wrote, Miss France was an ideal choice to 
make "St. Mary's a big little school ... in the front 
rank of preparatory schools with all the rights and priv- 
ileges of college certification." This Margaret Brent for 
the modern age was a native Marylander who knew the 
Seminary well, and yet she had traveled widely in gain- 
ing vital administrative experience. She appreciated the 
traditional heritage of the Seminary, and yet she was 
committed to progressive educational ideals and meth- 
ods. And finally. Miss France seemed to bridge the gap 
between old-fashioned values of the nineteenth-century 
family and the professional aspirations of young women 
in twentieth-century society. Having obtained the right 
to vote in 1920, American women for the first time 
inhabited a world of expanded horizons. The graduates 
of St. Mary's, prepared and inspired by the first college- 
educated principal in the school's history, would grasp 
the new opportunities of that era. 

Appointed at the unprecedentedly large salary of 



61 




The graduation portrait of Mary Adele France, one 
of the first women to receive a bachelor's degree from Wash- 
ington College. She must have looked very much like this 
when she joined the Seminary faculty in 1909- 



$2,000 per year and accorded the additional title of 
"Chief Administrative Officer," Principal France 
brought boundless energy and enthusiasm to this new 
job in a familiar, congenial setting. She corresponded 
with former faculty colleagues throughout the summer 
of 1923 in preparing copy for the new catalog. On 11 
June, the last day of school under Mrs. Maddox's long 
tenure, a teacher wrote Miss France: "We are trying to 
round up' our year to-day. We want to leave things so 
that you may get a line on what has gone before, at least. 
We were distressed to learn that the whole Sophomore 
Algebra class cheated in their examination. The papers 
were thrown away and they took a second examination, 
with the exception of four or five, who either [will] re- 
peat the work or do not expect to return. Yesterday was 
a beautiful day for our last Friday together. . . . Poor 
Mrs. Maddox was much in tears-a sort of final sorrow! 
My heart is in this dear old school and I am glad that 
someone who knows it and cares for it is going to con- 
tinue the good work, but the 'mills of the gods grind 
exceedingly slow' in this part of Maryland, so don't be 
discouraged, you will come through ail right in time!" 



According to a Seminary brochure, "at the begin- 
ning of the scholastic year of 1923—24, the future of St. 
Mary's Seminary seemed especially bright, its pros- 
perity well assured." But it was to be a new future, not 
always prosperous, and filled with more change than 
complacency. Miss France's leadership was already evi- 
dent as the sixty Seminarians arrived for the fall semes- 
ter and met "an entirely new faculty " that she had as- 
sembled in only three months' time: Ida de Loache 
(Columbia College), English and French; Mrs. Ethel 
Whitmore (George Washington University), history 
and Latin; Anne B. Home (Converse College and Co- 
lumbia University), science and household arts; Elsie V. 
Stanley (Posse Normal School of Gymnastics), elemen- 
tary science and physical education; and Elizabeth 
O'Brien (University of Kansas), piano and chorus. 
Other new features at the old school included a reorga- 
nized curriculum that tor the first time required sixteen 
units tor graduation, the addition of two new depart- 
ments (Household Arts and Physical Education), the 
first Spanish language classes, the opening of the 
school's first "real" library (with books systematically 
arranged on built-in shelves), the first specifically de- 
signed and well-equipped science laboratory, conversion 
of Music Hall into a gymnasmm, and the first electric 
lighting throughout the campus. In addition, the first 
student newspaper. The Seminary Signal, began publica- 
tion during the Fall 1923 semester; new clubs were 
organized ("each girl was compelled to belong to the 
Hiking Club, and also to join two others" from among 
Dramatic, Social, Music, and Current Events); and the 
activities calendar was vastly expanded, offering pupils 
more commemorative assemblies, historical pageants, 
lectures, debates, teas, dances, and intramural athletic 
events than ever before. 

The Great Fire 

St. Mary's Female Seminary was only four months into 
its "brighter future" under the new principal when a 
devastating fire destroyed eighty-year-old Calvert Hall 
and severely tested the spirit ot the people who oc- 
cupied that venerable structure. At dusk on Saturday, 5 
January 1924, in the midst of a fierce winter storm, a 
fire broke out in the basement furnace room and quickly 
spread into the walls, fed by gale-force winds. The Rev- 
erend C. W. Whitmore, Rector of Trinity Church, was 
the first to notice the glowing flames in the descending 
darkness, but he and the school's two maintenance men 
were unable to control the blaze because the fire ex- 
tinguishers had been recharged and locked away in an 
unknown location over the Christmas recess. By means 
of telephone party lines and the ringing of the Trinity 



62 



Church bell, the Whitmore family soon summoned a 
large force of eager volunteers to the blaze, and hun- 
dreds of local citizens worked in sub-zero temperatures 
for seven hours to save the Monument School of the 
People. The Leonardtown Fire Department never ar- 
rived, because its truck had a frozen engine, but county 
residents of all ages formed bucket brigades and coura- 
geously carried out school records, furniture from the 
first floor, pianos, library books, and bags of mail from 
the St. Mary's City Post Office (located in the rear of 



Calvert Hall), in the excitement, several well-meaning 
volunteers even salvaged logs from a fireplace and a 
withered Christmas tree! All of the students' personal 
possessions in the upper-story dormitory rooms were 
lost, but a huge and tragic toll in lives was averted due 
to the holiday recess. Rector Whitmore was the only 
casualty in the long night of fire-fighting. The strong 
winds blowing from the river spared Music Hall but 
endangered the rectory on the other side of Calvert, in 
trying to extinguish the many sparks that landed on his 



(^^^ 



Miss France's Rules and Regulations 

Courtesy, punctuality, and neatness oj attire and room are 
expected and required. Students make their own beds and 
care for their rooms and wardrobes. 

Quiet after "room bell" and orderly behavior in the 
halls are required. 

Students leave the grounds only ivhen accompanied by a 
chaperon and visit only with the permission of parents. 

Parents are earnestly requested, for the well-being of 
their daughters, not to send or bring them food other than 
fresh fruit and a limited amount of candy. 

All packages are subject to examination and delivery at 
the discretion of the principal. 

Pupils ivill not be called to the telephone during recita- 
tion or study hours and at other times only for parents. 

Visits to oculists should be made before the school begins 
or during vacation. No dentistry or dressmaking should be 
done during school sessions except in case of emergency. 

Pupils may receive occasional calls, by permission, from 
persons who are approved by their parents and the princi- 
pal, on Saturday evenings and Sunday afternoons — pro- 
vided the academic record and deportment warrant such 
privilege. 

Parents should furnish the principal a list of young men 
of u'hom they approve as callers, or escorts for their daugh- 
ters to occasional informal dayices. 

Pupils may receive visitors only with the knowledge 
and consent of the principal; all visitors must see the princi- 
pal on arrival and departure. 

Parents and friends of the pupils accompanying them to 
school or visiting them, if occasion demands, are charged at 
the rate of $1.50 per day. 

The school is closed at Christmas. Board at the rate of 
$10.00 a week or $1.50 a day will be charged for those 
who remain at the school during the Easter vacation. 

Borrowing clothing is strictly forbidden. Large 
amounts of money or expensive jewelry should not be brought 
to the school. We assume no responsibility for either. 




Seminarians on a stroll in front of 'trniily Riclnry. 1 hey 
are looking at the entrance to campus: to their immediate 
left is drome's Wharf Road. 

Any article broken by a pupil must be replaced, and she 
must pay for any other damage, outside of ordinary wear 
and tear for which she is responsible. 

No chafing dishes, teakettles, alcohol, or electrical ap- 
pliances are permitted in the pupils rooms. Special arrange- 
ments for pressing and for curling hair may be made 
through the principal. 

Privileges are accorded only to those u 'hose academic rec- 
ord and deportment are satisfactory. 

We request that parents and patrons of the school assist 
us in the maintenance of order and obedience in the school 
family by not asking for exceptions to our rules. 

Whenever the principal decides that a pupil's presence is 
detrimental to the school, on account of conduct, or for any 
other sufficient reason, she reserves the right to request her 
withdrawal. 

-Source: Composite list from Seminary catalogs, 1920s- 
1940s. 



63 




The canipns ih'VcistcittiDi tLhit ;^rit'tt'(.l Prnntpul l-i\niLL n)/ the morning of Sunday, 6jjiuuiy] I'JJ-i. 'ilh I'thy/uir] hJ2-t /.\.\Ui 
of The Seminary Signal (student newspaper, Vol. 1. No. 4) memorialized the old building: "It stood on the brow of a hill, 
Looking out where the blue water gleams: Stately and white and still— A castle of youthful dreams. " 



home, Whitmore fell from his ice-coated roof and suf- 
fered injuries that incapacitated him for several weeks. 

Returning from Christmas vacation on that Satur- 
day evening, Miss France heard someone shout, "St. 
Mary's Seminary's burned to the ground!" as her bus 
pulled into Leonardtown. She arrived on campus in 
time to see the raging fire finish off the old building. As 
the new principal viewed the smoldering ruins, a pa- 
thetic memorial to eight decades of operation, Stephen 
M. Jones, a trustee since 1901 and now the Board trea- 
surer, asked Miss France what was to be done. Accord- 
ing to her recollection, she answered, very much in the 
spirit of Scarlett O'Hara: "We shall carry on!" 

At dawn on Sunday, 6 January, all that remained of 
the Seminary's "beautiful mansion" were a few bleak 
and blackened walls and several charred chimneys. 
Pianos and furniture lay piled in Trinity Churchyard, 
while books, files, and paintings were stacked on the 
rectory porches. Community spirit was high, as the 
many local citizens who had fought the fire until 1 a.m. 
returned to the church ten hours later for a service of 
thanksgiving. Filing out of Trinity, they were greeted 
with tables of donated food, which would sustain them 
through long hours of moving salvaged possessions into 
Music Hall. Miss France rose early on Sunday morning 
and began the frantic task of calling the teachers and 



students to tell them that the school would not reopen 
on the following day as scheduled. For the rest of Sun- 
day, the principal held an unending series of meetings 
with school trustees, local officials, and the county's 
legislative delegation to discuss the future of St. Mary's 
Female Seminary. 

Not everyone believed that the old school with only 
sixty students would or should survive, and even the 
most optimistic supporters had difficulty predicting 
where and when it could reopen. The trustees consid- 
ered holding classes at Porto Bello, the well-known 
eighteenth-century manor house in Drayden, owned 
and offered by Trustee J. Allan Coad, but a newspaper 
article on Monday, 7 January, announced that the school 
would resume operations within two weeks at the Scot- 
land Beach Hotel near Point Lookout. After two tense 
days of doubts, fully expecting state officials to close the 
school permanently. Miss France finally received the 
welcome news on Monday evening that Governor Al- 
bert C. Ritchie and the State Board of Public Works had 
given preliminary approval to construct temporary 
housing on campus— n vital commitment that would al- 
low the Seminary to reopen and ultimately to remain at 
the historic first capital. As it had done so many times 
before, the persevering St. Mary's "phoenix" would rise 
again from the ashes, this time literally. But on this oc- 



64 



casion, the school enjoyed phenomenal good luck, since 
Ritchie, a strong supporter ot public education, was the 
first Maryland governor ever to be re-elected to a suc- 
cessive term. Since the inauguration was to be held on 
Wednesday, 9 January, no other governor, lame duck or 
new, would have been able to make such a commitment 
to the Seminary in those critical first days after the fire. 
As soon as they received Ritchie's promise to con- 
tinue operations on the historic campus, the Seminary 
trustees immediately allocated S2,5()0 h)r the con- 
struction ot a two-story, T-shaped, frame dormitory 
down the hill from the ruins of Calvert Hall. Sleeping 
thirty students on borrowed Army cots in one huge 
room on the second floor, and providing bathrooms, 
kitchen facilities, and a dining hall on the first fioor, the 
crude but functional "Barracks" was finished in three 
weeks, allowing the school to reopen on 2 February, 
only one month late. Still, because all sixty pupils re- 
turned for the spring semester, local citizens were asked 
to house students in their homes. Throughout that 
term. Miss France and two dozen Seminarians stayed 
with the Whitmore family at the Trinity Rectory. It 
must have been a trying experience for thirty-one adults 
to share a house with no electricity and one bathroom. 
Fifteen-year-old John Whitmore (who did not mind the 




Medallion portrait of Albert Cabell Ritchie. Gofernor of 
Maryland (1920—1933 ). whose unwavering support pre- 
served the Seminary. This Tercentenary Medal was created 
by Hans Schuler. 



attention from so many new "sisters") recalled that the 
girls devised a detailed schedule that allowed everyone a 
turn in the bathroom -except Rector Whitmore. Other 
students and teachers moved in with Mrs. Lilburn 




The "Barracks. " tempurary housing jar mint nj the student body from 2 February 1924 to 9 June 1925. Note the board side- 
walk that helped students avoid the muddy construction site of Calvert Hall. 



65 



("Dear Miss Lizzie"), the former principal who Uved 
where the College Advancement Office now stands. 
Makeshift classrooms were created in spacious Music 
Hall, music classes were held around the Trinity 
Church organ, and students carried bowls of milk and 
flour in all weather to home economics classes con- 
ducted in the kitchen of Mr. and Mrs. Charles M. 
Robinson, who lived where the Admissions Office is 
now. 

While the local community pulled together and 
shared an exciting rebirth of school spirit, influential 
politicians were also rallying behind the Seminary. Be- 
fore the end of January, Southern Maryland legislators 
led by State Senator George C. Peverley of Mechan- 
icsville (whose daughter, Corinne, was attending the 
Seminary) obtained an appropriation of $100,000 from 
the General Assembly to rebuild Calvert Hall on its 
original foundations. Although that amount was only 
half of what would eventually be needed and was not 
payable until 1 August 1925, the Seminary was fortu- 
nate to obtain any state assistance in 1924. The Univer- 
sity of Maryland at College Park, recognized as the state 
university only four years before, had its budget request 
cut 67 percent at almost the same time, in what some 
reporters described as the "most desperate struggle in 
the legislative history of the present century." With 
$100,000 from the state and another $20,000 from an 
insurance settlement, the Board of Trustees quickly se- 
cured the services of Baltimore architect Stanislaus 
Russell and accepted the low bid for construction from 
the Salisbury contracting firm of Hastings and Parsons. 
Work on the new Calvert Hall began on 2 June 1924, 
with much of the first summer devoted to clearing the 
site and cleaning the charred bricks ot 1844—45 for re- 
use in the new building. 

Once again, the close physical and historical con- 
nection between the Monument School and old St. 
Mary's City had proven to be an indispensable asset for 
the Seminary. While some people wanted to replace the 
living educational memorial with less expensive marble 
monuments to the state's "Plymouth Rock," eighty 
years of public identification with the endearing, if 
troublesome, old school encouraged what A. S. Golds- 
borough called a "promptness that ever characterizes 
the truly patriotic act . . . to the task of rebuilding 
Maryland's tribute to her founders." Goldsborough was 
the executive secretary of the Baltimore Association of 
Commerce, and only two days after the Calvert fire, this 
tough-minded businessman and political insider had 
emphatically informed the press that "the State would 
aid in the rebuilding program . . . [because] the semi- 
nary was considered a State memorial, commemorating 



the landing of the first Maryland colonists." 

Patriotic nostalgia went only so far, however, and 
there were many practical reasons that compelled state 
officials to rebuild the Seminary. Governor Ritchie 
probably saw his commitment to the school as a means 
of rewarding the staunch Democratic majority in 
Southern Maryland for supporting his re-election, but 
as the "education governor," he was also sincerely con- 
cerned that each county receive an equal share of state 
funding for public schools. St. Mary's County was cer- 
tainly most deserving of his support. According to the 
1920 census, the county ranked near the bottom of all 
Maryland jurisdictions in educational opportunities, 
public school attendance, size of population, per capita 
income, and value of farm property. Forty-three of its 
fifty-three public elementary schools had only one room 
and one teacher, and it would not have a conventional 
public high school until Great Mills opened in 1927. 
Governor Ritchie could not afford to exacerbate this al- 
ready bleak educational picture by closing the county's 
one successful secondary school that gave local residents 
their "only opportunity for graduation trom a 1st class, 
1st group public high school." What is a little-known 
fact today perhaps proved decisive in Governor Ritchie's 
decision in 1924- that St. Mary's Female Seminary had 
long accepted local boys as day students and was pre- 
pared to provide them with even more educational 
opportunities in the near future. Captain Alexander 
Kennedy's son had attended the Seminary as early as 
1902, and at least three other boys (Alfred Saunders, 
Cleveland Potter, and Robert Stevens) took classes as 
day students in the 1920s. (The first recorded male 
graduates from the Seminary's high school curriculum 
were Edwin Birch, Class of 1929, and Benjamin 
Weiner, Class of 1930, both of St. Inigoes.) 

In the final analysis, St. Mary's Female Seminary 
was saved in 1924 because so many citizens dedicated 
themselves to reviving the old school, so dearly loved in 
the past and so clearly needed lor the future-and the 
politicians knew it. The Monument School of the Peo- 
ple, though physically destroyed, truly proved that its 
greatest worth was not in brick and mortar, but in the 
love and loyalty that it both imparted to and received 
from the people of Maryland, rich and poor, near and 
far, across the several generations. 

Those feelings of affection were translated into tan- 
gible financial support for the Seminary when the Re- 
building Campaign of 1924-25 solicited contributions 
to match the state's appropriation of $100,000. That 
fund-raising effort-directed by Baltimoreans A. S. 
Goldsborough, J. Spence Howard, Mrs. J. Dawson 
Reeder (president of the Alumnae Association), and 



66 



Edward M. Thomas of the Century Trust Company- Cost of water tower, engine, electric lights, 

published the following financial statement at the be- sewerage 11,000 

trinning of the statewide campaign for private donations „ .. j r • u- 

'^ ^ r o r (^yjj Q^ equipment and turnishings 

in September 1924: 

^ (estimated) 35,000 

Cost of new building, under construction. School expenses since the fire, including 

minus one wing $123,700 Barracks 5.000 

Cost of adding the wing now being omitted Accumulated indebtedness and contingent 

from plans 25,000 expenses 15,300 















^~^ 


5iiu arr torbiallji tnnitrii tn a 






^^ 






mBu 


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Peverley, 


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Female Seminary Office 


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Advertisement for a local fund 


-raising dinner. September 


192^. 






An Honor Roll of Fund-Raisers, 1924-1925 




Joseph Addison 


R. Bennett Darnell 


Dr. N. E. B. Iglehart 


Clayton Purnell 


Matthew Page Andrews 


Walter I. Dawkins 


Stephen M . Jones 


Daniel R. Randall 


Mrs. C. W. Bassett 


Henry C. Dent 


Willis R.Jones 


Mrs. J. Dawson Reeder 


James M. Bennett 


J. Marshall Dent 


Mrs. Frank Killian 


Gov. Albert C. Ritchie 


Rev. Dr. Hugh Birckhead 


T. Raymond Dixon 


Charles H. Knapp 


Thonuis Robinson 


Dtike Bond 


T. Hoicard Duckett 


Rabbi Morris S. Lazaron 


Alfred G. Sanner 


James A. C. Bond 


Robert M. Diivall 


E. Brook Lee 


William S. Stanley 


Mrs. K. M. Brevitt 


Dr. J. M. T. Finney 


Mrs. J. G. H. Lilburn 


J. Noble Stockett 


John P. Briscoe 


Stephen T. Fox well 


Charles J. Linthicum 


J. C. Taliaferro 


William Cabell Bruce 


Bishop James Freeman 


Mrs. Robert Loker 


Armstrong Thomas 


Howard Bryant 


George A . Frick 


William M. Loker 


Edward M. Thonuis 


George L. Buckler 


Henry G. G artier 


John N. Mackall 


Henry B . Thomas. Jr 


B. Harris Camalier 


A. S. Goldsborough 


Rev. Dr James Magruder 


James W. Thomas 


J. Allan Coad 


Charles S. Grason 


William L. Mar bury 


Mrs. T. Rowland Thomas 


Arthur C. Combs 


C. Benedict Greenivell 


Ridgeley P. Melvin 


Mrs. Felix E. Wathen 


Key Compton 


Samuel Hayden 


Theodore K. Miller 


George Weems Williams 


R. Keith Compton 


Mrs. George W. Hodges 


Mrs. Frederick Mosher 


Lawrence P. Williams 


Alberts. Cook 


W. Meade Holladay 


Bishop John G. Murray 


J. Dallam Wise 


Robert Crain 


Allen B. Hnivard 


Mrs. Frank J. Parran 


Dr Walter D. Wise 


Randolph N. Dame 


J. S pence Howard 


George C. Peverley 





61 



Interest payments due until 1 August 1925 5,000 

Total deficits $220,000 

Amount covered by legislative appropriation, 

payable 8/1/25 100,000 

Fire insurance settlement 20,000 

Amount to be procured from private 

contributions $100,000 

This call for contributions produced a groundswell of 
citizen support from across Maryland. The people of St. 
Mary's County, as they had done so often, responded 
magnificently and pledged $10,000 in one month's 
time. The local effort was spearheaded by the Semi- 
nary's many influential trustees, including former State 
Senator Charles S. Grason of Cross Manor, Circuit 
Court Judge B. Harris Camalier, Delegates J. Allan 
Coad and Lawrence P. Williams, and past or present 
County Commissioners George L. Buckler, Arthur C. 
Combs, J. Marshall Dent, Samuel Hayden, Stephen M. 
Jones, and Alfred G. Sanner. In addition to citizen do- 
nations, the Leonardtown Branch of the Eastern Shore 
Trust Company (where Trustee Jones was cashier) pro- 
vided several timely loans that saved the school in its 
darkest days of indebtedness. Statewide fund-raising 
was substantially assisted by the support from an im- 
pressive fifty-member "Honorary Committee," which 
included Governor Ritchie himself, former Governor 
Phillips Lee Goldsborough, Maryland Attorney Gen- 
eral Thomas H. Robinson, Secretary of State E. Brooke 
Lee, United States Senator William Cabell Bruce, Con- 
gressman J. Charles Linthicum, historian Matthew Page 
Andrews, numerous judges, clergymen of all faiths, 
and dozens of devoted alumnae. 

The fund-raisers quickly discovered that the memo- 
rable past of the Monument School held the key to its 
future. Contributions poured in so that "this shrine" on 
the site of Maryland's founding could "be put in first 
class order . . . [in time] for the Tercentennial pil- 
grimage to St. Mary's ... in 1934." Although no cit- 
izen offered to build a new auditorium (for $10,000), 
Mr. and Mrs. James M. Bennett of Philadelphia (she 
the daughter of Doctor Brome, the former trustee) do- 
nated a completely equipped infirmary, while Miss Bes- 
sie Kibbie of Washington, D.C. gave a fully furnished 
library. Most of the funds for refurnishing Calvert Hall, 
however, came from hundreds of small contributors, in 
much the same way that the original structure was fi- 
nanced in the 1840s. The public responded most enthu- 
siastically to the idea of furnishing dormitory rooms in 
the new Calvert Hall at $200 apiece, so that "some 
mother's girl away from home will be your perpetual 



guest." The overwhelming success of this campaign 
was due largely to the school's policy of placing in- 
scribed brass plates on the doors of dormitory rooms, 
which identified the donors and the loved ones they 
were memorializing by their gift. By 1926, thirty-one 
such "memorial rooms" had been furnished in this way, 
and there was intense competition to endow specific 
sites in the new building that corresponded to where 
ancestors had lived in the old one. Several contributors, 
for instance, wanted to furnish Room 7 on the second 
floor, and one donor agreed to buy dormitory furniture 
only for "a bright room with windows to the front of the 
building." 

Nostalgia also became a prominent theme for the 
Seminary students, as school officials emphasized the 
special relationship that had always existed between the 
past, the present, and the future at St. Mary's. In March 
1924, after only a month back on campus, students and 
staff celebrated "Enactment Day" for the first time, de- 
livering patriotic speeches and dressing in nineteenth- 
century costumes to commemorate the 1840 legislation 
that created the Seminary. On 31 May, St. Mary's stu- 
dents began a long tradition by staging an elaborate his- 
torical pageant for the general public, depicting key 
events in the school's past and highlighting "the part 
that woman has played in the history of Maryland." 
Commencement Day, 1 July 1924, was extra special, as 
ten girls received diplomas and Judge Camalier deliv- 
ered an optimistic address, now assured that there 
would be future generations of graduates. On Indepen- 
dence Day later that week, the new Alumnae Lodge was 
dedicated. The original Seminary stable, which had 
contained bricks from the 1676 State House, was re- 
built using bricks from the 1844 Calvert Hall. As the 
most historic building on campus, the renovated Lodge 
truly symbolized the living spirit of a noble past that 
would continue into the future. The trustees had given 
a rundown structure to the Alumnae Association, and 
the contributions of former students had paid for its 
renovation; but instead of enjoying their new facility, 
the alumnae gave the building back to their alma mater 
because current and future students were in such des- 
perate need of classroom space following the fire. 

There was still one event to come in this summer of 
celebrations and that was the cornerstone laying of the 
new Calvert Hall. On Sunday, 3 August 1924, eighty 
years to the day from the cornerstone laying of the orig- 
inal building, some 1,500 persons gathered to dedicate 
themselves anew to the principles and purposes of the 
Seminary. The guest of honor, silver trowel in hand, 
was eighty-five-year-old Cecelia Coad Roberts- the 
oldest living alumna and a member of the entering class 



68 



(^^^ 





A typical dormitory room in rebuilt Calvert Hall, jiir- 
n is bed by donors as memorials to loved ones. 

The Memorial Rooms of Calvert Hall, 1925-1926 

In Memory of Fendall Marbiiry of "Wyoming." Prince 
George's County. Donor: William L. Marbury 

In Memory of George W. and Susanna Rankin Watson oj 
Anne Arundel County. Donor: Mrs. Joseph C. Dalton 

Dedicated to the Memory of Mary Eliza Hoivard by Her 
Sons and Daughters 

In Memory of Henry Briscoe Thomas. Ai.D. 

In Memory of Georgeanna Weems Williams By Her Chil- 
dren: George Weems Williams, Elizabeth Chew Williams, 
Matilda Williams 

Richard H. Garner, Trustee from 1888 to 1904 
Donor: Airs. Richard H. Garner 

In Memory of Alexander Magruder, Dk John Briscoe, 
Rev. William Wilkinson, Edmund Hoivard, Capt. Thomas 
Dent, and Capt. Henry Hawkins — Early Settlers 

Donor: The Rev. James M. Magruder, D.D.. and 
Margaret M. Magruder 

Washington-Custis Room. Presented by the Washington- 
Custis Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution 

hi Memory of Mrs. Elisabeth Briscoe Cashier {nee Bessie 
Briscoe). Donor: J. Douglas Cashner 

In Memory of Cecilia Dent Harrison, 1792-1833. by 
Her Descendants. Donor: J. E. Harrison 



Presented by the Society oJ The Ark and The Dove In Mem- 
ory of Those Who Planted the Province of Maryland. 

Theodora M. Anderson. St. Marys F. Seminary, 1850 — 
A Memorial by Her Children: Alice Norris Parran, Ben- 
net Biscoe Norris, Sophie Biscoe Norris, Bessie Biscoe 
Woodley. Arthur F. Norris. Jennie Biscoe Brooks, Ellen 
Dabney Miller 

Emily Bishop Room. Donor: Beatrice Fenton. Mar/one D. 
Martinet, Anne W. Strawbridge 

In Memory of T Rowland Thomas by Several of His 
Friends. Donor: R. J. Brome 

In Memory of Father and Mother — Thomas Dashiell 
France and Emma Price France. Donor: M. Adele France 

Presented to St. Mary's Seminary by the Maryland State 
Society of Washington 

In Memory of George Frederick Maddox and Susan Harris 
Maddox. Presented by their Daughter, Martha Maddox 

Key 

In Memory of St. George Barber 

Furnished by Mr and Mrs. Franklin V. Killian 

Furnished by The Thomas Johnson Chapter, Daughters of 
the American Revolution, Mrs. David M. Robinson. 
Regent 

Endowed by "The Maryland Line" Chapter. Daughters of 
the American Revolution 

* Furnished by Chapter I, The Colonial Dames of America 

*Furnished by Dr. and Mrs. Alexander Hodgdon as a 
Tribute to Mr and Mrs. George W. Hodges 

*Lucy Virginia Maddox, A Tribute from Mr and Mrs. 
H. S. Wherrett 

*Dedicated to Our Principal. Miss France, by Delta Phi 
Sigma Sorority 

Furnished by Judge Walter I. Dawkins. Baltimore 

In Memory of Thomas F. Foxwell, Trustee, 1898-1919. 
Donor: Stephen M . Jones 

In Memory oj Jeannette Yates Clagett Wilson. Wife of 
Joseph S oilers Wilson. Donor: E. Brooke Lee 

In Youth We Mold the Coming Nation. Margaret A. 
Albright 

*Furnished by Delta Phi Epsilon Sorority 

In Alemory of Airs. Lilburn, Principal 

* Indicates ptales on "Special Rooms" (not dormitory rooms) 

-Source: File A262-Markers-26: Memorial Rooms of Cal- 
vert Hall, College Archives. 



69 



in 1846. Joining her for the festivities were school offi- 
cials, local politicians, other descendants of the first 
trustees, and representatives from the Society of the Ark 
and the Dove, the Daughters of the American Revolu- 
tion, and the Maryland Historical Society. The keynote 
speaker, A. S. Goldsborough of the Rebuilding Cam- 
paign, reminded the audience that the bigotry of "re- 
ligious fanatics" (like the revived Ku Klux Klan) was 
again threatening the ideal of toleration. "The lesson of 
the Ark and the Dove, the foundation stone of St. 
Mary's Seminary," he said, "is a badly needed plank to 
our almost shipwrecked society of today. . . . [S]o long 
as we uphold and cultivate such institutions in our 
midst, no one can say of us that we do not try to deserve 
that noble reputation bequeathed by the Calvert Lords 
. . . only a few feet away. " 

Getting Back to "Normal" 

Following a year of such unparalleled trials and tri- 
umphs, crises and celebrations, it was natural that the 
staff and students of the Seminary would find it difficult 
to adjust to a more normal existence. The 1924—25 aca- 
demic year was indeed "Hell on Earth," according to 
Miss France. The beginning of the fall semester was de- 
layed until 1 October in the false expectation that Cal- 



vert Hall would be ready for residents, and when the 
disappointed students did arrive, they faced a critical 
shortage of housing. The "Barracks" had to be enlarged 
to accommodate more boarders, since the patient hospi- 
tality of the local community was running thin. Forced 
to live in cramped quarters and to relinquish most of 
their holidays for the year, the students were inclined 
toward "much dissension." Among the teachers, "there 
seemed to be constant illness, which made it necessary 
that they go home or to a hospital." To make matters 
worse for Principal France, an epidemic of scarlet fever 
hit the Seminary in January 1925, soon after the stu- 
dents returned from Christmas vacation, and the school 
had to be closed (the second in Maryland to do so). 
However, the academic year ended on a happy, hopeful 
note when Calvert Hall was finished while school was 
still in session. According to Miss France: "We were 
promised the new building would be completed by 
Christmas, then February, then Easter. Finally, two 
weeks before Commencement I was told the building 
was completed, BUT there were no screens for the win- 
dows, yet-and the flies and mosquitoes were terrible! I 
told the girls the situation and they were unanimous in 
their decision to move in. So after classes that day 
[9 June 1925], we moved in and were all established in 




The cornerstone- laying ceremony for the new Calvert Hall. Sunday, i August 1924 — eighty years to the day that the orig- 
inal cornerstone was laid. The speakers' platform shown here was situated near the foundations of the old building, looking 
toward Music Hall and the St. Mary's Rii'er. The woman facing the camera, near the center, is thought to be Cecelia Coad 
Roberts, the oldest alumna and guest of honor 



70 




The Alumnae Lodge. yeiii)iuriiai.d Iyuih tiji Sl//./ijji-) itabk with some $2.U()() i>i aluiiuhn. Jonatiuin d)id duliutul mi 
4 July 1924. In June 1922. the Associations 200 members endowed the Alumnae Scholarship (still given), and the organi- 
zation received a state charter of incorporation on 22 March 1927 . 



two hours! And the miserable year ended happily after 
all!" At Commencement on 26 June 1925, eleven stu- 
dents graduated, having been denied a typically serene 
Seminary experience their last two years. Probably only 
one of those graduates, Elizabeth M. Dixon, had any 
reason to welcome the Seminary fire, for she met and 
soon married Baltimore architect Bernard Evander, who 
had come to St. Mary's to work on the reconstruction of 
Calvert Hall. 

The 1925-26 academic year was much calmer. A 
growing percentage of the current student body had not 
even known old Calvert Hall, and they looked forward 
to spending the first full year in the new building, now 
three stories tall and equipped with all the modern con- 
veniences. Although the riverside wing shown on the 
architects plans would not be added until 1929, the 
white-columned building closely resembled the origi- 
nal structure and perpetuated the ambience of a tra- 
ditional academy of the antebellum South. Moreover, 
Calvert Hall was furnished by benelactors who were 
conscious ot the school's unique ties to regional heri- 
tage, so that "practically everything was of historic 
value." Such donated items included a painting of the 
first settlers, from the State House in Annapolis; a 
circa- 18 16 mantle from the Throughton/Traughton- 
Brome House of St. Mary's City, donated by Mr. and 



Mrs. J. Spence Howard (she the daughter of Doctor 
Brome); a mounted composing table, alleged to have 
come from "the First Printing Press in the American 
Colonies"; a conceptualized "portrait" of Governor 
Leonard Calvert; a large painting for the entrance hall, 
donated by Mrs. T. Rowland Thomas of historic 
"docker's Fancy"; two eighteenth-century Chippendale 
chairs; and books contributed by Governor Ritchie, the 
Maryland State Library, and Enoch Pratt Free Library. 
Appearances were deceptive, however, for the em- 
phasis on the Seminary's plantation past masked pro- 
gressive educational goals that would soon transform 
the old-fashioned boarding school into a modern, inno- 
vative junior college. Although St. Mary's Female Semi- 
nary had developed into an excellent academic institu- 
tion of its type, traditionalism and provincialism had 
limited its horizons before 1924. The very destructive- 
ness of the fire that year proved to be an important cata- 
lyst for a new beginning. Because that tragedy had 
brought unprecedented attention and assistance to the 
Seminary, school officials were encouraged to reevaluate 
and redefine its future. When Governor Ritchie and 
members of the 1924 General Assembly came to 
campus on 22 May 1926 for the dedication of a memo- 
rial plaque thanking them for their support, they could 
little imagine that this old, traditional school would 



71 




The central entrance foyer of the new Calvert Hall, 1923. showing several of the hntoric furnishings donated to the school. 
The open door to the right now leads to the President's Office. 




The new Reception Room in rebuilt Calvert Hall, furnished as a tribute to Mrs. Lucy Virginia Maddox. past principal 
(1900-1923). Note the "portrait" of Leonard Calvert above the early nineteenth-century mantle from the Throughtonl 
Traughton House in St. Mary's City. Today the mantle is in the Provost's Office. Calvert 104. 



72 



soon "enter upon an enlarged Held ot honor and useful- 
ness"-and change the future of Maryland education. 

Launching the Junior College 

The Seminary trustees in the 1920s proved to be as tar- 
sighted and courageous as their nineteenth-century 
predecessors in not permitting short-term problems to 
disrupt their long-term dreams. On 19 February 1926, 
the trustees' executive committee voted to borrow an- 
other $5,000 to meet current expenses and discussed 
"eliminating at least two teachers [one-third of the fac- 
ulty} and curtailing the course of study" to stem the 
school's mounting indebtedness. However, at a meeting 
held (inly three weeks later, the full Board promptly dis- 
missed such pessimism. At this historic 10 March meet- 
ing, the trustees approved a resolution by Judge Cama- 
lier and Delegate "Williams that directed the principal 
and the executive committee to confer with the State 
Superintendent of Education at the earliest opportunity 



"with a view to raising the standard of the school to that 
ot a Junior College." On 21 April, Miss France reported 
on the committee's encouraging meeting with Superin- 
tendent Albert S. Cook, and two days later, the Board 
ot Trustees formally agreed to offer a first-year junior 
college curriculum in 1926-27, with second-year 
coursework to follow soon after. 

This was a remarkably daring step for a school that 
had been on death's door just two years before, but it 
followed the typical, traditional pattern at St. Mary's, 
tor, since its founding, the Seminary had always re- 
bounded from a crisis stronger than before. Now, St. 
Mary's would surprise everyone who thought of it only 
as a nostalgic reminder ot the nineteenth century and 
would reward the state's confidence with a sudden, cre- 
ative shift to collegiate instruction. 

The Fall 1926 catalog announced the new venture 
for the school. St. Mary's was described as a "boarding 
school for girls, on the high school and junior college 




Seminarians waiting for a steamboat at Brome's Wharf, St. Mary's City. When the Junior College was created in 1926- 
1928, steamboats were still an important means of transportation in Southern Maryland. Vessels of the Baltimore and Vir- 
ginia Steamboat Company left from Baltimore at 4:50 p.m. every Monday. Wednesday, and Saturday and arrived at 
Brome's Wharf about 4:00 a.m. on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays. Students were met by the Seminary custodian, who 
transported their trunks to Calvert Hall by cart or ivheelbarroiv. The steamboat age came to a sad and sudden end by 1933, 
due to company bankruptcies, increased competition from automobiles and improved state roads, and a jierce storm on 23 Au- 
gust 1933 that destroyed many of the region's wharves. 



73 




The cast-iron arch donated by the high school seniors in 1927 . 



level, . . . conducted for service, not profit." The Sem- 
inary, according to Miss France, was committed, "first 
of all [to being] an excellent school, organized on mod- 
ern lines [and] flexible enough to meet different needs." 
Explaining that "the time is past when we educated our 
daughters for ornaments only," the principal pledged 
the Seminary to "greater service" in preparing its grad- 
uates for "an economic place in the world." The new 
Junior College Division promised to be innovative be- 
cause it offered a personal, caring approach to post- 
secondary education— which was a tradition at the 
"small home-like" Seminary but was almost nonexis- 
tent at the huge university campuses then emerging. As 
Miss France announced to parents and prospective stu- 
dents, she and the school were committed to giving 
freshmen college women, who were often intimidated 
or overlooked at large, impersonal universities, a 
"square deal," by providing an education "under careful 
guidance, in close association with Principal and teach- 
ers, near home, at small cost." 

The addition of the Junior College Division placed 
St. Mary's in the forefront of the national junior college 
movement and was the key to the future prominence of 
the institution. The first junior colleges in the United 
States were founded around 1910 in response to mush- 



rooming high school enrollments, and between 1920 
and 1930, these more accessible, less expensive "peo- 
ple's colleges" grew at a phenomenal rate, from 52 
schools enrolling some 8,000 students to 277 institu- 
tions serving more than 55,000 students. St. Mary's, 
which had already outlived most of its contemporane- 
ous sister seminaries, was one of a tew exceptional sec- 
ondary schools with the vision and the tenacity to re- 
spond in a timely fashion to the national trends in junior 
college education. When it did so, St. Mary's occupied a 
special— perhaps a unique— niche among all two-year 
collegiate institutions in the United States. It was a 
public junior college when most were private; it served 
women only when most others were male or coeduca- 
tional in nature; it was rural when virtually all others 
were located near large urban population centers; it 
stressed the traditional liberal arts when many others 
focused on vocational training; and it was on the East 
Coast when the vast majority of early junior colleges 
were established west of the Mississippi River. In 1926, 
St. Mary's may well have been the only public junior 
college in the country to have a chief executive, a fac- 
ulty, and a student body exclusively comprised of 
women. Within Maryland, this oldest state-owned 
school and only public boarding school for women 



74 



added to its distinction as an educational pioneer by be- 
coming the first junior college in the state. Baltimore's 
Mount Saint Agnes became the second one in 1933, but 
no others, public or private, were founded in Maryland 
until after World War II. 

St. Mary's Female Seminary was able to add junior 
college courses to its curriculum in the fall ot 1926 be- 
cause it indeed had concerned, "well qualified teach- 
ers"— and obviously versatile ones as well. The eight fac- 
ulty members in 1926-27 (an increase of only two since 
1924-25) had vastly expanded responsibilities at the 
new multi-functional and multi-dimensional school. 
They staffed two separate four-year high school pro- 
grams (a general curriculum and a college preparatory 
curriculum), offered a one-year program in secretarial 
and business subjects for high school graduates, and 
taught seven, year-long Junior College courses of six 
credits each. These included English Composition, 
Advanced Algebra and Trigonometry, British History 
(Roman Britam to the Present), Biology A-Botany, El- 
ementary French (elective), Latin A-Cicero and Virgil 
(elective), and two electives in Household Arts (Food 
and Nutrition; Textiles and Clothing)-consistent with 
national trends at the time. 'When the Junior College 



curriculum was expanded two years later, the St. Mary's 
faculty would have to be more versatile still, serving 
students (both Seminary graduates and new enroUees) 
who wanted either a terminal associate degree or who 
wished to complete the B.A. elsewhere. 

The creation of the Junior College Division imme- 
diately became the catalyst for the recruitment and re- 
tention of a superior faculty. St. Mary's again had a high 
attrition rate among teachers, but unlike the situation 
in the mid-nineteenth century, school officials pro- 
moted the turnover in the search for the best qualified 
faculty. Miss France regularly and vigorously "pruned" 
her staff according to a March 1928 directive of the 
Board of Trustees, which "authorized [the principal] to 
engage all of the most important Teachers as early as 
possible [while] leaving the most unimportant ones to 
be selected later." In that year, four of the eight Semi- 
nary teachers had master's degrees- three from pres- 
tigious universities- but Principal France was the sole 
instructor remaining from the faculty of 1924-25, and 
Mrs. Sallie T Davis (A.M., Lebanon Female College) 
and Elizabeth Lindsay (graduate, Bowling Green Busi- 
ness University) were the only other teachers who had 
been on the staff for three consecutive years. Ethel R. 





The members of Delta Phi Epsi/on Sorority. 1929. 



75 



Cohodas (M.A., University ot Michigan) had recently 
replaced a diplomate ot the Sorbonne, while Majorie 
Smith (M.A., University ot Pennsylvania) was hired in 
preference to a predecessor with only a bachelor's de- 
gree. A decade later, in 1938-39, eight ot the twelve 
instructors at St. Mary's had master's degrees and all had 
some graduate training: 

M. Adele France (A.M., Washington College; M.A., 
Columbia University) 

Mrs. Mildred K. Chenoweth (graduate. School of Speech, 
Northwestern University; English and speech) 

Ellen M. Doherty (graduate study. University ot Iowa; 
business) 

Mrs. Mary D. Faison (M.S., Woman's College, Univer- 
sity ot North Carolma; home economics) 

Margaret E. Hight (M.A., University of North Car- 
olina and additional graduate study at University of 
Virginia and Columbia; social studies) 

Lura Frances Johnson (M.A., Emory University; math- 
ematics and psychology) 

Ghissell E. Klein (A.M., University of Michigan and 
additional graduate study at the Pasteur Institute, 
Paris; science) 

Mrs. Helen L. Manson (Library School, George Pea- 
body College and library apprenticeship at the U. S. 
Naval Academy; librarian) 

Evelyn Mitchell (M.M., American Conservatory of 
Music and additional graduate study at North- 
western University; piano, voice, violin) 

Mary B. Renshaw (graduate study at Johns Hopkins; 
physical education) 

Claire V. Stickney (M.A., Catholic University and ad- 
ditional graduate study at Middlebury College; 
French, Latin, Spanish) 

Mrs. Minnie J. Swindler (M.A., Columbia University 
and additional graduate study at the L^niversity of 
Chicago; English) 

It was doubly ironic that the excellent teachers who 
were recruited to St. Mary's largely due to the demands 
of collegiate instruction earned the high school branch 
of the Seminary its first national accreditation just when 
the institution was most committed to the Junior Col- 
lege. On 29 December 1930, atter eighty-tour years ot 
operation, St. Mary's was finally accredited by the Com- 
mission on Secondary Schools of the Association of Col- 
leges and Secondary Schools of the Middle States and 
Maryland. The Seminary's official ranking as a "First 
Class, First Group High School" by the Maryland State 



Department ot Education in 1931 was also belated rec- 
ognition tor an institution that now saw its future in 
collegiate, rather than secondary, instruction. St. Mary's 
prospered over the next twenty-five years because of its 
dual tocus; the high school curriculum gave it stability 
as a traditional program known to many Marylanders, 
while the Junior College Division provided the educa- 
tional innovativeness that attracted a new student con- 
stituency and enhanced the school's reputation beyond 
the borders ot the state. 

The St. Mary's Female Seminary-Junior College (as 
it would eventually be called) was in tull operation by 
the beginning of the 1928—29 academic year. Because 
only one student took college courses in 1926-27, the 
initiation ot a second-year Junior College curriculum 
was delayed one year. In 1928-29, however, the school 
added a two-semester, two-credit course in Speech to 
the first year requirements (which remained English 
Composition, Advanced Algebra and Trigonometry, 
British History, Botany, and Physical Education), and 
began to otter an extensive array of second-year courses. 
Collegiate sophomores would now take year-long, six- 
credit courses in English Literature and Science B: 
Physiology and Hygiene and choose electives trom Gen- 
eral Psychology, Economics, Sociology, French Litera- 
ture, Intermediate Latin (Horace, Tacitus, Livy), and 
Home Economics (Advanced Clothing; Home Design- 
ing and Interior Decoration). 

From these tentative beginnings, school otficials 
conscientiously improved and expanded the curricular 
offerings of the Junior College Division. Only a decade 
later, the 1938-39 catalog listed ninety-five courses, 
enough to permit students to group them according to 
specific concentrations: Liberal Arts, Home Economics, 
or Music for those wanting to transfer to senior colleges; 
General Culture, Homemaking, Creative and Applied 
Arts, Secretarial, General Business, or Recreational 
Leadership for students who regarded the two-years as 
"terminal." The Liberal Arts concentration in 1938-39 
was as follows: 



Year One 

English Composition 

Biology, Chemistry, or Math 

History ot Europe 

Speech 

Art Appreciation 

Study Technique 

Physical Education 

Electives: 

Math (Algebra/Trigonometry) 



Credits 

3, 3 
3, 3 
3, 3 
1, 1 



.5, .-) 



76 



French Literature 


}, 5 


Biology 


">, 3 


General Chemistry 


3, 3 


U.S. History Since 1865 


3 


Introduction to Sociology 


3 


)'tar Tuo 


Credits 


Survey ot English Literature 


3, 3 


Personal and Community Health 


1, 1 


Music Appreciation 


1 


Bible Appreciation 


1 


Physical Education 


.5, .5 


Electiiu: 




Masterpieces of World Literature 


3 


Contemporary Literature 


3 


Latin: Virgil's Aeneid 


3, 3 


French, Latin, or Spanish 


3, 3 


Spanish Literature 


3, 3 


General Chemistry 


3, 3 


U.S. History Since 1865 


3 


Introduction to Sociology 


3 


Human Physiology 


3 


Introduction to Psychology 


3 


Introduction to Economics 


3 


Federal Government 


3 



Having a well-designed curriculum and a qualified 
faculty before it had students, the Junior College Divi- 
sion grew slowly but steadily from the single enrollee in 
1926-27. The Board of Trustees had already designed 
the .collegiate diploma by 1928, and school officials 
must have been greatly relieved when the first Junior 
College class of four students finally graduated in June 
1930 (along with twenty pupils from the high school 
program). The first collegians to finish-Katherine M. 
Bowdle of Denton, Dorothy Connor of Eckhart, Irma 
K. Mumford of Ocean City, and Virginia Dare SoUers of 
Lusby (the only alumna of the Seminary high school)— 
had completed a minimum ot sixty-two credits, with at 
least forty-six graded C or better. The number of Junior 
College graduates remained a consistent four to six per 
year until June 1934, when twelve received diplomas, 
compared to seventeen high school graduates. In June 
1935, the Junior College Division graduated nine, in- 
cluding the first male— Charles D. Birch of Stewarts- 
town, Pennsylvania, who would return to teach at 
Great Mills High School after receiving his B.A. from 
Western Maryland College. The Junior College Class of 
1935 was 82 percent as large as that year's high school 
class— the highest proportion ever— and throughout the 



rest of the 193()s, that percentage was matched or bet- 
tered all but once. Clearly, the new collegiate curricu- 
lum was catching on, and the growing popularity of 
this educational experiment would lead to further inno- 
vations at the Seminary. 

Another Threshold: The Four-Year Junior College 
St. Mary's Female Seminary-Junior College reached a 
crossroads in Spring 1935, and school officials did not 
hesitate to gamble everything on the new future of col- 
legiate instruction. With the advice and support of the 
State Superintendent of Education and the Junior Col- 
lege alumni, the trustees reorganized St. Mary's into a 
four-year J itnior College between 1935 and 1937. They 
discontinued the freshman year of high school begin- 
ning in September 1935 and eliminated the sophomore 
year beginning in September 1937, so that by the 
1937-38 academic year, St. Mary's offered a four-year 
junior college curriculum that incorporated the junior 
and senior years of high school ("Lower Division") and 
the freshman and sophomore years of college ("Upper 
Division"). This unusual reorganization was significant 
to the enhanced reputation of St. Mary's, for it was the 




The St. Mary's basketball team. 1932. Team captain in 
front center is Martha Morris Blackistone. Seminary high 
school 30 and Junior College '32. 



11 




The first graduates of Maryland's first junior college. Clockwise from top left, they are: Irma K. Mumford. Dorothy Connor 
Katherine M. Boivdle. and Virginia Dare Sollers. 



only junior college in Maryland to offer a tour-year cur- 
riculum and was one of only twenty-five institutions in 
the nation to do so. The Seminary was reoriented at this 
time for several compelling reasons. Great Mills High 
School had been in operation for a decade and had di- 
minished the pool of ninth- and tenth-graders who in 
years past would have attended the Seminary. More im- 
portantly, the restructuring of the St. Mary's curricu- 
lum permitted an increasingly talented faculty to focus 
on higher level coursework and allowed an expansion of 
the collegiate population by freeing dormitory space 
previously occupied by high school freshmen and soph- 
omores. Higher enrollments had become a priority, 
since the school was required to have a minimum of 
fifty Junior College students to be considered for na- 
tional accreditation. Statistics from the first decade of 
the Junior College Division revealed that only 17.7 per- 
cent of its ninety-six graduates had attended the Semi- 
nary high school and that the collegiate curriculum was 
most popular among out-of-county and out-of-state 
students. Thus, the new four-year Junior College was 
designed to attract mature students who wanted more 
than two, but less than six, years at St. Mary's and who 
preferred an institution with a collegiate, rather than a 
high school, identity. 

An additional, and perhaps the most compelling. 



reason for the creation of the four-year Junior College at 
this time was the well-publicized campaign that the 
League of Women Voters in Maryland launched against 
St. Mary's in 19.^2. In October of that year, the League's 
annual convention in Baltimore issued a critical report 
by Mrs. O. H. Williamson, claiming that the Seminary 
had "no apparent place in the present public school sys- 
tem." Committed to reforming and economizing Mary- 
land government in the midst of the Great Depression, 
the League charged that the state-owned Seminary cost 
the taxpayers "nearly four times as much" as a conven- 
tional public high school did to educate a student, be- 
cause it "operated as a private boarding school managed 
by its own Board of Trustees and [was] not under the 
jurisdiction of the State Department of Education." A 
resolution at the League's convention recommended that 
the state should either close the Seminary or have its 
"purpose redefined and the institution reorganized to 
serve . . . some specialized group. " 

St. Mary's responded to that recommendation by 
creating the four-year Junior College and indeed found 
a "specialized group" to serve in a growing population 
that desired an affordable alternative in collegiate edu- 
cation. The reorganized curriculum and redefined mis- 
sion helped quiet the critics, while truly fulfilling Miss 
France's dream of "serv[ing] the people." That innova- 



78 



tion also appreciably enhanced the reputation of the 
Seminary in Annapolis and across the state. The elim- 
ination of the freshman and sophomore years of high 
school elevated the status of St. Mary's- reflected in the 
substitution of "president" for "principal" as the title for 
the chief executive officer (May 19.37)-and gave the in- 
stitution a higher priority for state support. In February 
1937, the Seminary for the first time was included in 
the regular state budget on an equal basis with the 
other public educational institutions of Maryland. Al- 
though the school fell under the Maryland Department 



of Education, its previous funding had always come 
from special legislative appropriations for scholarships 
and construction projects, which the Board of State Aid 
and Charities administered. Beginning with a $14,000 
appropriation for the 1938-39 fiscal year, the State of 
Maryland elevated St. Mary's to a new budgetary status 
that it has enjoyed ever since. (It is most curious to real- 
ize how little-known the Seminary was in government 
circles before its inclusion in the regular budget, de- 
spite the extensive state funding after the fire of 1924. 
In describing the budgetary deliberations in 1937, a re- 




Miss France poses with graduates on Commencement Day. 

What Did You Do After Graduation? 

In January 1940, President France put together "a 
perfectly stupendous questionnaire" that asked re- 
cent Junior College graduates about their lives since 
leaving St. Mary's. Some of the responses: 

After graduation from the Seminary I entered Wash- 
ington College the folloii'ing fall . I had no trouble in having 
all my credits accepted and this past June graduated from 
there with an A.B. degree. I had planned to take up teach- 
ing as a profession but was not so fortunate as to obtain a 
position in any of the counties. In August I went with the 
Department of Public Welfare as a social worker . . . I 
will be only too willing to do anything I can for the Semi- 
nary. They were the most marvelous days of my school life. 
-Mary B. Fraser 

After graduating from St. Mary's I enrolled at the 
University of Maryland. During the first semester, I be- 
longed to no class, but I was allotved to take third year 



work. At the end of the term, I was on the honor roll and my 
past credits were accepted. In May of my senior year I was 
elected to Phi Kappa Phi, the national honorary scholastic 
fraternity. As a conseciuence, I graduated from the Univer- 
sity on June 4, 1958 with first honors. In early September, I 
was called to a teaching position at Catonsville High 
School. It will be a real pleasure to see St. Mary's an ac- 
credited Junior College. -Mary Jane Hoffman 

I entered the nursing profession at the Union Memorial 
Hospital, Baltimore, on September 3rd, 193^, for which 
hospital I have been working since graduation-as a mem- 
ber of the nurses staff in the operating room and dispensary. 
I am glad to hear of the apparent progress the school is mak- 
ing. I often think of you and wish I could relive the two 
happiest years of my life. I will also add- two very profita- 
ble years. -Leanna Riedy 

{F following graduation from Hood . . . {I moved to 
Baltimore, where) I met a rich elderly lady who lives in a 
fourteen-room antiquely furnished suite in the Belvedere. 
She is paying all my expenses at the Peabody and also for my 
apartment furnished with a baby grand piano and a Ham- 
mond electric organ. I am studying piano under Couradi & 
pipe organ under Virgil Fox. -Jeannette Roelke 

I entered the University of Maryland after leaving the 
Seminary. . . . In February 1939, I entered the Gradu- 
ate School of the University . . . (majoring) in Plant 
Pathology, with research in tobacco. -Betty Wise 

In September following my graduation from S.M.S. I 
entered Washington College as a junior. There I found that 
my two years' work at the Seminary had given me prepara- 
tion superior in most cases to that received by my class-mates 
at Washington. . . . In October 1938, I became assistant 
Postmaster in Sudlersville and have continued there. I do 
wish you the greatest success in your endeavor. S.M.S. will 
always be a place I'll recall fondly. -Kathleen Powell 

-Source: Accreditation Files, 1940-41. 



79 



porter wrote: "A stranger popped up tonight before the 
Legislature. There's nothing new about [the Semi- 
nary] . . . but this IS the first time the State had recog- 
nized that it owned it and put it in the budget as a 
Maryland institution, . . . [causing] a lot of wonder- 
ing among the legislators as to when the State had taken 
it over"!) 

The decision to transform St. Mary's into Mary- 
land's only four-year junior college was clearly the right 
one at the right time. President France's 'high hopes of 
service to the State and to Youth" were certainly real- 
ized through this innovative institution. In 1939-40, 
only the second year of the reorganized curriculum, St. 
Mary's admitted a record twenty-nine Junior College 
freshmen (high school juniors), eighteen of whom had 
not attended the Seminary previously and only four of 
whom lived within a fifty-mile radius of the campus. 
More importantly, the Junior College was living up to 
its promise of providing an excellent education that 
focused on the development of the individual student. 
Over 40 percent of the sixty-three Junior College grad- 
uates between 1935 and 1939 went on to receive bach- 
elor's degrees from senior colleges, several with honors. 
The institutions most frequently attended by St. Mary's 
graduates in this period were: Western Maryland Col- 
lege (five students), University of Maryland-College 
Park (three), Johns Hopkins University (two), George 
Washington University (two), Goucher College (two). 
Hood College (two), Washington College (two). Pea- 
body Conservatory of Music, Corcoran School of Art, 
University of North Carolina, Pennsylvania State Uni- 
versity, and Mary Washington College (all one each). 
The success that former students experienced brought 
'credit to the school that nurtured them and helped earn 
"St. Mary's Female Seminary Junior College" much- 
deserved accreditation. On 17 April 1941, after a thor- 
ough survey of the Seminary's alumnae and an extensive 
investigation of its operations, the Maryland State De- 
partment of Education accredited the four-year Junior 
College. Dr. Albert S. Cook, the State Superintendent 
of Schools who had approved the first experimental 
Junior College classes at St. Mary's fifteen years before, 
signed the authorization of accreditation. 

Accreditation was a triumph for President France 
and the trustees, because they had reinvigorated the old 
school with innovations while preserving the best of its 
traditions-and had done so in the midst of the Depres- 
sion. Curricular change, faculty and student recruit- 
ment, and the expanded scope of operations came at a 
high price, but to their credit, school officials did not 
abandon the original principles of the Monument 
School of the People. As Miss France explained in 1937, 



"against the urging of individuals and agencies to raise 
the charges, . . . rates have been kept low to permit 
those in moderate circumstances ... to secure the 
outstanding advantages, educational and otherwise, of- 
fered by St. Mary's Female Seminary." Throughout the 
1930s, annual tuition remained $100, room and board 
$300, for all resident students in either the high school 
or Junior College divisions, and commuting day stu- 
dents from St. Mary's County could still take a year of 
courses for only $50. Moreover, the school continued to 
provide twenty-nine full scholarships to about half of 
the student body and increasingly supplemented those 
funds with privately endowed awards (e.g., the multi- 
ple scholarships contributed by the Daughters of the 
American Revolution and the Margaret Roberts Hodges 
Memorial). Seminary officials were, in fact, so com- 
mitted to the principle of affordability that they al- 
lowed students to enroll, take classes, and even graduate 
despite owing money to the institution. Over the 
course of fifteen years, from 1932 to 1947, a total of 
$4,311.34 in overdue student bills went uncollected. 

Refusing to charge more or to expel delinquent stu- 
dents, despite a five-year operating deficit in the mid- 
1930s, school administrators relied on creative frugality 
to get them through the tough Depression years. In 
1933-34, the Seminary fed each of seventy-eight 
boarders (including faculty) for less than twenty cents 
per day. Despite the state's budget-line support in 
1938-39, St. Mary's remained the epitome of a non- 
profit institution, spending an average of $434.95 to 
educate each student and receiving an average income 
per pupil of $435.00! At a nickel per pupil, the Semi- 
nary could not afford lavish salaries for its faculty. In the 
late 1930s, teachers earned $900 and those with admin- 
istrative duties an additional $100, plus free room, 
board, and laundry for all. They received $50 raises 
their second year and "subsequent increases in propor- 
tion to the value of the incumbent." President France, 
who refused to accept a $1,000 raise in 1931 due to the 
"existing business depression," reported that St. Mary's 
retained good teachers despite low salaries, because at 
least the school met every payroll when other institu- 
tions did not. Throughout the Depression, the Semi- 
nary truly functioned as a caring college for the people, 
and everyone associated with it met the challenge of 
hard times as most families did-by pulling together. 
Although the ongoing and increasing financial support 
from the state was vital to the school's survival, the bu- 
reaucrats in Annapolis could not understand why the 
St. Mary's trustees sought out poor farm children to ed- 
ucate free or why they once paid a speeding ticket for a 
manual laborer at theSeminary. 



80 



Two Seasons oj Celebrations 

In the dark days of the Great Depression, the State of 
Maryland and St. Mary's Female Seminary offered the 
public two special celebrations that relieved the tension 
of troubled times. The first, in 19.vl, was the 300th 
anniversary of Maryland's founding at St. Mary's City; 
the second, in 19.^9-40, was the lOOth anniversary of 
the Seminary's founding as the Monument School. Both 
events were hopeful reminders of the benefits of per- 
scverence, recalling that the residents of this site in the 
distant past had survived crises and surmounted chal- 
lenges to create a notable collective legacy of persistent 
struggle for all the present and future citizens of 
Maryland. 

The Maryland tercentennial presented quite a con- 
trast to the state's bicentennial in 1834, for finally, one 
hundred years later, St. Mary's City and its Monument 
School were to be the main focus of activity and atten- 
tion. Since the founding of the Seminary, school offi- 
cials had dreamed of such an occasion to increase the 
public's awareness of the ancient capital and its ante- 
bellum academy. Maryland's 300th birthday party 
loomed large in the minds of Seminary administrators 
and state officials, and every campus improvement for 
five years before the anniversary was justified on the 
basis of the huge crowds and extensive press corps that 
would visit St. Mary's City in 1934. 

In May 1927, the high school senior class donated 
the large, ornamental cast-iron arch that graced the 
Seminary entrance gate until the late 1960s. In April 
1929, Trustees J. Allan Coad, George C. Peverley, and 
Lawrence P. Williams finally convinced their colleagues 
in the state legislature to pay for the construction of the 
riverside wing of Calvert Hall, which would complete 
the building as the architect had originally conceived 
it. With the General Assembly's appropriation of 
$30,000 and Governor Ritchie's personal assurances of 
an additional $10,000 to come later, the Board of 
Trustees borrowed the money that allowed construction 
to begin immediately. On 11 September 1929,, after 
nine feverish months of work by contruction crews, ar- 
riving students moved into the newly expanded Calvert 
Hall, complete with a fresh coat of whitewash on its 
square columns and a huge painted-iron replica of the 
state seal perched high on the front portico. As luck 
would have it, the Seminary finished the campus cen- 
terpiece and symbol just in time-only six weeks before 
the stock market crash on "Black Tuesday," 24 October 
1929. 

With optimistic preparations for Maryland's 300th 
anniversary taking precedence over the gloomy projec- 
tions of an expanding national economic crisis, the Sem- 



inary undertook several other projects that improved its 
appearance or efficiency. For the first time since the 
campus was purchased in 1844, the school acquired ad- 
ditional land for expansion, buying Mrs. Lilburn's small 
lot across Brome's Wharf Road following her death in 
1932. The trustees granted a 99-year lease on part of the 
property to the State Tercentenary Commission as the 
site of Hans Schuler's "Freedom of Conscience Monu- 
ment"; on the other portion of the Lilburn lot, they re- 
located the "Caretaker's Cottage, " or "White House," 
which had been built from the "Barracks" of 192 i and 
which today houses the Advancement and Alumni of- 
fices. Storage sheds and the school garage were con- 
structed on that site as well, housing a growing iieet of 
Seminary vehicles that included a 1928 bus (called "Our 
Pride and Joy") and a 1933 pick-up truck. In 1931, the 
school was connected to county electricity for the first 
time and converted the small brick building that had 
housed its Delco generator into a science laboratory. 
About the same time, another well was drilled and a 
new pump, water tank, and chlorinator were installed. 
The final campus project, and one of the most 
memorable, was completed just before the official ter- 
centennial activities commenced in June 1934. Two 
years earlier, the Board of Trustees had given permission 




A later lueic oj Calvert Hull, ckarly showing the wing (in 
the foreground) that the architect designed in 1924 but was 
added only in Septendwr 1929- 



for the Alumnae Association to convert the Calvert Hall 
vegetable plot into a "Garden of Remembrance." Beau- 
tifully landscaped and furnished with donated benches 
and a fountain, this memorial garden was dedicated as a 
tercentenary gift to the Seminary on Sunday, 10 June 
1934. Ever since, it has served as a reminder of the 
grateful affection that St. Mary's alumni have felt for 
and from their alma mater. 

The dedication of the "Garden of Remembrance" 
was the first event in a week-long series of special ac- 
tivities that would culminate in the Tercentenary Cele- 



bration on Friday and Saturday, 15-16 June. There had 
never been, and will probably never be again, such in- 
tense excitement on this campus in any seven-day 
period. Seminary officials were only partially prepared 
for the demands that state officials and the general pub- 
lic would make on campus facilities. In March 1934, 
the school had lent Music Hall to the U.S. Postal 
Department for the sale of first-day issue Maryland 
Commemorative stamps, but now the state wanted to 
convert Calvert Hall-the "only 'business building' in 
the area"-into a tourist hotel within hours of the last 




A stuc/vnl iiul/fi;j, jt tiji Sciiiiniir\ in tlit ictrl] I^J^Oy ilh l')2S \iljiii,l l,n\. "()//>■ Pridt j>iil jn). " uu\ p/inhusvil Jor 
$1,866.30 and ranaimd in service for two decades. 



Capital Outlay, 1 October 1933 to 28 February 1937 

Land $3,336.99 

{Ulburn lot $1,800.00. filling hi land, new tennis 
court, retaining walls, grading and seeding lawn) 

Water & Sen wage System $4,107.24 

Main Building 486.70 

(New partition in Home Economics Room, remodeling 
library, new outlet for light) 

Commencement Hall 110.66 

(Partitioning off music practice room, new light outlet, 
changing radiator) 

Chemistry Laboratory 789.93 

(Expense of changing Delco House to Chemistry Lab) 

Pump House. Tank & Well 841-33 

Alumnae Lodge 2,432.03 

(Expense of remodeling lodge, building furnace room, in- 
stalling heat, etc. ) 

Caretaker's Cottage (Moving & Remodeling) 1,096.13 



Garage (Moving & Remodeling) 
Tool House (New) 



297.46 
173.00 



Office Equipment (Desk, file cabinet, bookcase. 88.73 
typewriter) 

Household Equipment (Library table & chairs, 283.06 
vacuum cleaner, desks) 



Motor Vehicles (Neiv bus) 



1.866.30 



Educational & Recreational Equipment 701.82 

( Chairs for Home Economics Lodge & Study Hall. 2 
typewriters. 3 second-hand pianos. Frigida ire for Lodge. 
Grand Piano, Neiv machine, stove and furniture for 
lodge) 

Laboratory Equipment (for Chemistry Lab; microscopes 
for Biology Lab) 983.12 

Other Equipment (Wheelbarrows for W.P.A.. new 
streetlight) 108.43 

-Source; Adele France's notations, loose papers, College 
Archives. 



82 




^rgJ^A^-m 



T/)f GarcL)! iij RLiiaii/hrjiice. cieclicatecl on Sunday. lOJnne 1934. In her renuirks on that occasion, Alumnae Association 
President Betty Revell Wat hen thanked the Seminary for "happy memories oj jriendships. associations, studies, and some good 
old fashioned discipline. The best her children can do at this time . . . is to present a gift expressive of beauty and charm, a 
Garden of Remembrance which finds j/ilfillment in love and life — a memorial to our beloved ones, roots reaching out, extend- 
ing far into the past. " 



final examinations in the academic year. This prospect 
created a special air of expectation and a sense of urgency 
about finishing the spring term and clearing out the 
dormitory. Students tried to concentrate on studying for 
finals amid countless banquets, an endless stream of ve- 
hicles, and the deafening noise from invading brigades 
of construction workers. At commencement exercises 
on Monday, 11 June, the Seminarians presented "The 
Vestal Flame," an elaborate pageant about the school's 
history, and then promptly packed up and vacated Cal- 
vert Hall. The keepers of the vestal flame were safely 
away before the arrival of one British and two American 
warships in the St. Mary's River later that week, and 
they missed the local newspaper notice that read: 
"Please send out an S.O.S. for some girls to make the 
sailors happy. Tell them the boys need dancing 
partners." 

With the students on their way home, the Seminary 
maintenance staff readied the "Calvert Hall Hotel" for 
150 overnight guests (only some in rooms) on each of 
the two festival days. The school administration build- 
ing also served as the base of operations tor the Tercen- 
tenary Celebration, the nerve-center of the State of 
Maryland in those last hectic days before the 15-16 
June birthday party. Calvert Hall was described as "a 
beehive of activity [and] the headquarters of scores of 



newspapermen, newsreel cameramen and radio an- 
nouncers"— all ol whom communicated with the out- 
side world by means ot the Seminary's single telephone 
line. The normal serenity ol the campus vanished dur- 
ing that special week in June, as an army of carpenters 
hastily constructed a 10,000-seat "stadium" on the 
State House grounds; county farmers brought sickles, 
scythes, and ox-drawn carts to clear fields for parking; 
endless convoys of trucks and boats delivered ice, bev- 
erages, and ice cream from Baltimore; some 500 coun- 
tians donned seventeenth-century costumes to rehearse 
the gigantic outdoor pageant, "St. Maries, the Mother 
of Maryland"; and highway crews were completing the 
new road (present Route 5) specifically to serve the 
throng of motorists who would soon descend on the old 
capital. When the two days ot festivities finally got un- 
der way, St. Mary's Female Seminary contributed the 
most critical single element to the success of the tercen- 
tennial celebration- fresh drinking water, which was 
piped from the campus artesian well to over 700 National 
Guardsmen, mounted state police, and U.S. Army 
medical corpsmen camped near the Brome House. In a 
final tribute to the school's key role in this gigantic 
birthday party. Governor Ritchie returned to "his " Cal- 
vert Hall and hosted a mint julep luncheon for visiting 
dignataries on "State Day, " 16 June. 



83 




tercentenary! 

EDITION I 

100.000 ATSf: MARYS CELEBRATION 
SEE HISTORY ROLL BACK 300 YEARS 

BRITISH MAN OF WAR AND REPLICA OF FIRST STATE HOUSE piRjOfQ ^M ^II^aWW 

IIWOMfEIE 




4 *i 

The front page headline oj the Washington Times, Saturday, 16 June 1934. 



When the long-awaited Tetcentenary Celebration 
Weekend finally arrived, St. Mary's City was imme- 
diately transformed into the state's third largest urban 
area. The front-page headline in the Washington Times 
for Saturday, 16 June, trumpeted the news: "100,000 
AT ST. MARYS CELEBRATION SEE HISTORY 
ROLL BACK 300 YEARS: Parades and Pageantry Mark 
Tercentenary in Two-Day Fete. " The Baltimore Evening 
Sun for Friday, 15 June, proclaimed: "THOUSANDS 
SEE ARK AND DOVE ARRIVE: Old St. Mary's Host 
to Crowds for Pageantry." Hundreds of power boats, 
schooners, bugeyes, excursion steamers, Chesapeake 
crab boats, and yachts of every description jostled for 
position in a clogged harbor to catch a glimpse of Gov- 
ernor Ritchie's flagship, Dupont. the British cruiser 
H.M.S. Dundee, two American destroyers, U.S.S. Man- 
ley and Overton, Sea Scouts in a miniature replica of "Old 
Ironsides," an oyster-patrol schooner refitted as the 
"Ark," and a naval motor-launch similarly disguised as 
the "Dove." Special channels in the St. Mary's River 
were kept clear of boats for the landing of the several 
sea-planes that circled the festival site. On the ground, 
the thousands who mingled, and the dozens who 
fainted, in the stifling 100-degree heat, included Brit- 



ish sailors tutilely trying to buy American hot dogs 
with shillings and pence (a Baltimore bank set up a cur- 
rency exchange at the last minute); pageant "Indians in 
full headdress [who] elbowed their way to . . . the 
temporary bars . . . [and] tossed off their steins of real 
beer"; concessionaires in a tent-city ot food stands, dis- 
pensing some 14,000 gallons ot lemonade, 40 half- 
barrels of beer, and 2,500 pounds of hot dogs; and po- 
lice officers from six states patrolling the grounds for 
known pickpockets (Baltimore City detectives nabbed a 
couple). One of the most noticed revelers was 102-year- 
old Mary Ellen Jones ("Aunt Pigeon"), a former Langley 
family slave who was the cook for the Seminary in the 
late nineteenth century, as she sat under a shade tree 
surrounded by dozens of her descendants. 

After two exhausting days of speeches, unveilings, 
dedications, tributes, gun salutes, band music, histor- 
ical pageants, and evening light shows from the harbor, 
the revelers departed and allowed the ancient capital 
city to return to its tranquil repose. 

Nothing could match the magnitude of Maryland's 
tercentenary party, but six years later, the lOOth anni- 
versary of St. Mary's Female Seminary-Junior College 
had an equivalent emotional intensity for those closest 



to the institution. The year-long commemoration of the 
school's founding began t:)n Commencement Day, 12 
June 1939, with Governor Herbert R. O'Conor cieliver- 
ing the address to nineteen collegiate and twenty-three 
high school graduates. The theme of graduation week- 
end, "The Birth ot the State's Living Monument," was 
carried through the next academic year. The centennial 
ot "Enactment Day" was celebrated in grand style on 
Thursday, 21 March 1940. Press reports estimated that 
some 500 visitors attended the ceremonies, including 
the oldest living alumna (Mrs. Cornelia D. Jones, 86, 
an 1869 graduate); Mrs. Maddox, the former principal; 
representatives from Hood College and Charlotte Hall 
Academy; and the Leonardtown Fire Department, "in 
lull regalia with its new equipment." The Seminary 
Glee Club appeared in period costumes on the stairway 
ot Calvert Hall and presented songs from the 1830s- 
I840s, and at "high tea," all of the faculty members and 
several distinguished alumnae dressed in hoop skirts to 
serve as hostesses. Katherine Scarborough, a reporter 



tor the BaltiDiim Sim. wrote of the occasion: "Nobody 
gave a speech. None was necessary The school spoke for 
itself, and in the exhibition room there were relics in 
plenty to tell the story of what had gone before." These 
included Board of Trustee Minutes from the 184()s, one 
ot the Seminary's original desks from the 1850s, and "a 
silver tork used by two generations of girls at a time 
when students furnished their own cutlery." Trustee 
Grason, 84-year-old grandson of the governor who 
signed the Seminary legislation in 1840, even loaned a 
newel post from the seventeenth-century State House. 
Less than three months after the "Enactment Day" 
festivities. Commencement Week of 1940 brought a 
second, and even grander, centennial observance. An 
event-tilled weekend began with public recitals by the 
music and speech departments on Friday, 7 June. Satur- 
day was devoted to "our earliest and latest alumnae," 
and at an evening banquet, the oldest graduates in- 
ducted the Class of 1940 into the Alumnae Association. 
Congressman Lansdale G. Sasscer of Prince George's 




The Tercentenary Celebration adjoining the Seminary campus, from the Baltimore American, Sunday. 17 June 1934. 
Notice the new replica of the State House of 1676 and the bleachers (center left) for the pageant. "St. Maries. Mother of 
Maryland. " The large tents (center) occupied part of the old townlands where Anne Arundel Hall wotdd be built twenty 
years later To the right, is the new road (present Route 5) that was cut specifically to direct the heavy traffic away from 
campus and toward the parking areas. Many thousands of revelers slept in their cars for two days due to the shortage of 
overnight accommodations. 



85 




Seminarians in 19th-century gowns serenade visitors on the 100th anniversary oj "Enactment Day, " 21 March 19~lO. 



County addressed the alumnae, and Mary E. W. Ris- 
teau, former state senator from Harford County, was the 
guest of honor. The following day, Sunday, 9 June, the 
Reverend John LaFarge, S.J. , assistant editor o( America 
Press and former pastor at nearby St. James and St. Peter 
Claver churches, delivered the baccalaureate sermon 





^^_^j£r< 


:>*~.^ — y 


A Centennial Poem 


Daughters of St. Mary's 


Hold fast the Vision Splendid. 


We salute you on this day; 


Still set the noblest free; 


One hundred years behind you. 


Put ever first the Kingdom 


Still fonvard press your way. 


Which seeks Eternity. 


Never there springs a harvest 


St. Mary's, dear St. Mary's. 


Where seed has not been sown; 


Breaker of Living Bread. 


Today. Oh fair St. Mary's, 


Go thou with God. the Giver, 


You come into your own. 


Into the years ahead. 


Fruit of long days of labor, 


-Sourtc: Written by Eleanor 


Of tender tear-wet dreams; 


B. North. June 1941 


0] glorious hopes and splendid, 




F'lr you the future gleams. 





and hosted a student supper in the Garden ot Remem- 
brance. The "Centenary Commencement" was held on 
Monday, 10 June, with fifteen students graduating from 
high school and ten receiving Junior College diplomas. 
The highlight of the ceremonies was the performance of 
"The Pageant of the Hundred Years," written and di- 
rected by faculty member Muriel Stemple. Every stu- 
dent and teacher had a role in this elaborate production, 
which used an outdoor stage to dramatize key events in 
the Seminary's history and portrayed the "ideals of St. 
Mary's"-"Motherhood, Tolerance, Proper Conduct, 
Liberal Education, Thoroughness, Accreditation, Com- 
munity Service, Adjustment, Social Relationships, 
Homemaking, Perseverance, Alumna Activities, Junior 
College, [and] Self-Government." Students performed 
the "Garden of Remembrance Dance," while the Glee 
Club sang the "Centenary Song," as well as selections 
from Handel, Haydn, Wiigner, and Tchaikovsky. 

Because of special circumstances, the Seminary's 
centennial celebration extended beyond the 1939-40 
academic year. Spring 1941 brought two notable events 
that were considered part of the anniversary festivities. 
The State of Maryland's birthday gift to St. Mary's-the 
$85,000 Gymnasium and Recreation Building (today's 



86 



Kent Hall)-was finally completed after several delays 
and dedicated on Enactment Day, 21 March 1941. De- 
signed by Baltimore architect Bernard Evander, the 
new Gymnasium was a multi-purpose building that 
provided the Seminary with much-needed indoor recre- 
ational and assembly facilities. Only three weeks after 
this dedication, the state presented its second gift to St. 
Mary's-accreditation of the Junior College on 17 April. 
Now the century-old Seminary had academic respect- 
ability as well as a major new addition to its physical 
plant. Considering the significant achievements of its 
centennial "year," 1939-41, St. Mary's had every reason 
to expect a bright and confident future as it entered a 
new decade. But it was not to be. 

Trials and Tribulations: War on the Homefront 
St. Mary's Female Seminary-Junior College endured one 
of its most trying decades in the 1940s, as global war 
and local problems nearly depleted its reservoir of con- 
fident optimism. On the eve of World War II, the Semi- 
nary was in many ways still a fledgling institution, de- 
spite its 100-year history. In its haste to grow and 



change since 1923, the school had never paused long 
enough to attain stability and security, and with the 
massive, unsettling transformations that World War 11 
introduced throughout Southern Maryland, the once 
congenial and serene environment of the Seminary 
would be lost forever. The old reliable ways of doing 
things- such as traveling by steamboat, depending on 
county residents for labor and food, and expecting a 
Board of local trustees to be available for emergency de- 
cisions-became mere memories after 1941. Four years 
of crises and challenges changed the character of the 
Seminary forever, and the symbol of that change, of the 
realization that a very different institution had crossed 
the threshold into a modern postwar world, was the re- 
tirement in 1948 of President France, weakened and ex- 
hausted after years of struggle. 

Even before Pearl Harbor, 1941 brought a signifi- 
cant change to the traditional organization and opera- 
tion of St. Mary's Female Seminary. Coinciding with the 
good news of the new Gymnasium and Junior College 
accreditation, school officials were dismayed to learn 
that Governor O'Conor was determined to dismantle 



^@ ^ ^ 



School Events Calendar for 1939-40 



September 

Get-acquainted Party 
Athletic Association Picnic 
Boat Ride Picnic 
Visit to Old County Homes 

October 

Series of President's Teas 
Artists and Lecture Program 
D. A. R. Luncheon 
College Club Initiation 
Dramatic Club Tea 

November 

Athletic Association Fall Prom 
Junior Play 
Tea House 
Thanksgiving Banquet 

December 

Senior Bazaar 
Artists and Lecture Program 
Basketball Game 
Christmas Banquet 



January 

Tea House 

College Club Informal Dance 
Athletic Association Banquet 
Artists and Lecture Program 
Basketball Games 

February 

Freshman-Sopho?nore Dance 
School Play or Operetta 
Presidents Birthday Party 
Basketball Games 

March 

Artists and Lecture Program 
Tea House 

Junior-Senior luncheon 
St. Patrick's Party 

April 

Dramatics Club reception 
Apple Blossom Festival 
Visit to local homes and gardens 
(during Garden Club week) 
Artists and Lecture Program 



May 

Junior-Senior Formal Dance 
Home Economics Club Tea 
Freshman party for Sophomores 
Sports Day with outside school 
Boat Ride for Seniors 
Artists and Lecture program 
Charlotte Hall Tennis Matches 
Strawberry Festival 
Graduates Day 

June 

Cookery Class Luncheon for Trustees 
Field Day and Athletic Banquet 
Alumnae Banquet 
Garden Party 
Commencement 

Infirmal dances, here and at Charlotte 
Hall, held on free week-ends. 
Birthday dinner each month for those 
having a birthday. 



87 




Exterior and interior t'/tu j '// 'I'/m Cj)i//iu/w/////. dedicated on 21 March 1941 ■ This is now Kent Hall, where the Division of 
Natural Science and Mathematics is located. 



the Board of Trustees as it had existed since hS5<S. Al- 
though the trustees had had more clashes with state of- 
ficials over building the Gymnasium than over any issue 
in recent memory, the decision to change the gover- 
nance of the Seminary was never linked to any im- 
propriety, incompetence, or ideological position ot the 
Board. Rather, the legislative initiative in Annapolis 
seemed to be focused on modernizing the Board ot 
Trustees, by requiring representation by women as well 
as men, from every area ot Maryland, tor fixed terms of 
six years. Governor O'Conor was personally committed 
to having women on the Board of the Female Seminary, 
for as he explained at the St. Mary's Commencement in 
June 1939: "women are expected to contribute their 
share toward the proper functioning of everything that 
concerns the public good. " The timing for this change 
may be explained by the recent deaths of several of the 
oldest and most politically powerful trustees-includ- 
ing Circuit Court Judge B. Harris Camalier (deceased 
in 19.^6 after forty-tour years on the Board), Henry C. 
Dent (d. 1937, twenty-five years of service), George L. 
Buckler (d. 1941, twenty-six years), and former State 
Senator Charles S. Grason (d. 1941, thirty-one years as a 
trustee). 

The prospect ot changing such a time-honored tra- 
dition was anathema to most St. Mary's alumni, and 
they lobbied hard to retain the old Board of Trustees. 
Not only did school supporters resent the involuntary 
retirement of fifteen eminent trustees from St. Mary's 
County— five Catholics, five Episcopalians, and five 
Methodists with a total of 260 years of collective service 
to the Seminary- but they feared that the new Board of 
twelve trustees, without the guarantee of lifetime ten- 
ure, would doubtless be more dependent upon the 
whims of state officials. Throughout the spring of 1941, 
Seminary traditionalists sent a "swarm" of angry letters 
to the governor and the General Assembly, which re- 
porters described as unprecedented for a legislative is- 
sue of this type. State Senator J. Allan Coad, a trustee 
since 1923 with a century of family ties to the school, 
declined appointment to the reorganized Board as a 
matter of principle. He attacked Governor O'Conor's 
plan as "nothing short of vandalism"-a way "to reduce 
appointments to the Board of this venerable and vener- 
ated institution to the status of mere ordinary political 
patronage." From the alumni side, Mrs. Betty Revell 
Wathen, '85, co-founder and past president of the 
Alumnae Association, persuaded the. United States sen- 
ators from Maryland, Millard E. Tydings and George L. 
Radcliffe, to oppose the measure, and she enlisted sup- 
port from Circuit Court Judge Ridgely P. Melvin, State 
Comptroller J. Millard Tawes, and several prominent at- 



^ 

The President's Address to the New Trustees 

i U}ncler the previous Board of Trustees, I have served St. 
Mary's Female Seminary to the best of my ability for eigh- 
teen years, putting into the administration of the school my 
love, my entire interest, my utmost effort for its betterment 
and advancentent. so I pledge to this new Board of Trustees 
my utmost effjrt and most loyal cooperation in continua- 
tion of the work begun. 

I have sincerely and earnestly tried to keep alive in the 
school the ideals of the first settlers: of tolerance, respect fin- 
God and God's laws, respect fijr the integrity of the indi- 
vidual, consideration of others, independence of thought 
and freedom of speech, {and} democratic government . . .; 
and, also, to keep alive, and pass on to succeeding genera- 
tions through our future mothers, the traditions of helpful- 
ness, kindliness, courtesy, gracious living, hospitality, po- 
liteness, et cetera, which our first Maryland settlers 
established. 

In this work I have had the full support of the Board 
of Trustees, the Alumnae, and the true friends of the Semi- 
nary; and while we all naturally take pride in the mate- 
rial development and progress of the school, I feel . . . 
that those intangible qualities subtly built into the hearts 
and souls of our students, through precept, example, asso- 
ciation, are the most valuable assets. . . . 

I believe in St. Mary's Seminary; I believe the unique 
idea of its founding- to keep alive the glorious history of 
Maryland and to pass it on through the mothers of men— is 
a sacred trust given into the keeping of each administrator 
and trustee of the school. {As} the only school in the 
United States that stands as a monument to mark the set- 
tlement of a State, St. Mary's Seminary deserves to be more 
widely and better known because of its unique and inter- 
esting establishment and history; and I believe it has some- 
thing to give its students-over and above the thorough 
and excellent all-round education they receive— which 
makes their attendance here tremendously worthu'hile. 

With all my heart I hope this Board of Trustees will 
understand the son of educational institution with which 
they are connected, that they will use their best endeavors 
to make it more widely known and appreciated— especially 
in its own State- and that they will see to it that it does 
not lose those peculiar and 'different' characteristics and 
features that give it its own individuality. Knowing you 
and knowing of you. as I do, I feel sure you will accept the 
sacred trust-and carry on. 

Respectfully submitted, 
AI. Adele France, President 

-Source: President's Report, 24 September 1941. 



89 



torneys, bankers, and physicians from Baltimore. 

In the end, the governor and the legislature suc- 
ceeded in reconstituting the Seminary's Board of 
Trustees, effective on 1 June 1941. The old Board was 
allowed one final meeting, on 3 June, to say their good- 
byes and to savor their first and last triumphant mo- 
ment as trustees of the recently-accredited Junior Col- 
lege. The intense lobbying of school supporters had 
resulted in the provision that six of the current trustees 
would be appointed to the new Board of twelve. The 
reorganized Board of Trustees met for the first time on 
24 September 1941, and included: Stephen M. Jones of 
Leonardtown (first appointed in 1901), who was re- 
elected president; Lawrence P. Williams of Ridge (who 
had served since 1923); T. Raymond Dixon of Mechan- 
icsville (1923); C. Ethelbert Abell of Leonardtown 
(1929); Dr. Robert V. Palmer of Palmers ( 1929); and Dr. 
L. J Sothoron of Charlotte Hall (1933). The new 
trustees included three former Seminarians-Mrs. Felix 
E. Wathen (Elizabeth Revell '85) of Baltimore, Mrs. 
George L. Ewalt (Anne Weeks '25) of Baltimore, and 
Mrs. Lansdale G. Sasscer (Agnes Coffren '12) of Upper 
Marlboro-in addition to the Reverend Dr. James M. 
Magruder of Annapolis (chaplain of the Alumnae Asso- 
ciation), R. Ames Hendrickson of Frederick, and Mrs. 
J. Kemp Stevens of Denton. Contrary to the worst fears 
of the critics, the new trustees demonstrated their 
steadfast devotion to the Seminary and retained vir- 
tually all of the endearing traditions of the old Board, 
with one exception: the Minutes would finally be typed 
after ninety-six years of handwritten records. 

Before the reconstituted Board of Trustees could 
hold its second meeting, the United States was plunged 
into World War II. The rural isolation of Southern 
Maryland could not protect its citizens from the impact 
of this global conflict, and the needs of the nation soon 
transformed the lifeways of St. Mary's County and the 
Seminary. In September 1941, the U. S. government 
selected 6,400 acres of prime farmland and rich oyster 
beds at Cedar Point along the Patuxent River, some 
eight miles from the campus, as the site of a major mili- 
tary installation. Little changed in the three centuries 
since the Jesuits established the mission post of Mat- 
tapany. Cedar Point was thrust into the complex mod- 
ern world within a matter of months. Construction 
began on the Naval Air Station- Patuxent River in 
April 1942, and by year's end, the new facility was em- 
ploying some 7,000 people in a county that had a total 
population of only 14,600 in 1940. The Navy built a 
railroad just for base use, paved new roads from Wal- 
dorf, threw up trailer cities that resembled the raucous 
mining camps of the Alaskan gold rush, initiated 



county-wide bus service for the first time, and created 
the town of Lexington Park, naming it after the famous 
aircraft carrier. At the same time, the federal govern- 
ment also constructed the 770-acre auxiliary base at 
Webster Field in St. Inigoes, the Jesuit headquarters in 
the seventeenth century and only four miles from the 
Seminary. 

While the local population welcomed the shops and 
services that emerged to tap the huge federal payroll, 
St. Mary's Female Seminary faced immediate problems 
in trying to keep its staff and students on campus and 
military personnel off. An abundance of high-paying, 
war-related jobs here and throughout the state made it 
difficult to find qualified teachers and even maintenance 
workers lor the school. Miss France spent every summer 
of the war replacing one-third to one-halt of her twelve- 
member faculty and was often forced to pay exorbitant 
salaries for even young and inexperienced teachers, es- 
pecially in the fields of home economics and physical 
education. It became commonplace for teachers to break 
their contracts in late summer and for school to begin 
each fall with faculty vacancies. Once on campus, many 
teachers were openly disgruntled and defiant, and in 
1943, Miss France feared for her lite until a particularly 
unruly instructor was committed to an insane asylum. 
Moreover, the several custodians, groundsmen, cooks, 
and waiters who had long served the Seminary now left 
for the "easy jobs" and "big money" at the Naval Air 
Station, and students, teachers, and even the president 
herself took turns preparing meals. The Seminary 
nearly exhausted its meager supply of rationed gasoline 
in transporting a few loyal employees to and from the 
campus, but when the cook did not report for work one 
morning in late 1941, Miss France "got a woman out of 
a corn field to help out." The tollowing year, she re- 
ported that food rationing was made "even more diffi- 
cult when one has to watch the mood and temper of the 
cook! Often some item on the menu has to be changed 
to placate the cook and keep her satisfied to stay. " The 
shortage of support personnel was partially alleviated in 
1943 when the school began employing parolees trom 
the Woman's Prison in Jessup-without whom "it would 
have been impossible to keep the Seminary open." 

Worse still were the problems with the students. 
Addressing the "Quality and Character of Students" in 
the President's Report for 1944-45, Miss France noted 
the "change in girls .... The graciousness, courtesy, 
thoughtfulness, kindly interest, pleasant manner-all 
these attributes to which we have been accustomed and 
which we have tried to uphold as standards are gone!" 
Although the four academic years of wartime saw near- 
capacity enrollments of between eighty-two and ninety- 



90 



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A re/)or/ r.afrrf' of a first-year Junior College student, June 1932, tn Miss Frances handwriting. 
Miss France's Method of Evaluating Students 



May I. at this point, give you a brief explanation of our 
report system, one which we have worked out over a period of 
years. Its distinctive characteristics: 

(1) ni form, a personal letter from me to the parents, to 
ivhich I invite a reply -the letter takes up one or more gen- 
eral school probletns; 

(2) an individual rating for each student, arrived at from 
the previous school attended, various tests given here at en- 
trance, and the letter grades of all the faculty members over 
a three week period, without their knowing her previous 
record or the test results. The result is a grade based on the 
ability of the student, which she can raise or lower accord- 
ing to the ivork she does; it eliminates discouraging competi- 
tion with people of higher mentality and compels each stu- 
dent to compete against herself alone; 

(3) constructive comments from the various faculty members 
on work and conduct; 

(4) the discussion of the report by the President and student, 
alone, before the report goes to the parent. 

It took a few years before this type of report became ap- 
preciated, but last year and so far this year I have received a 
number of most understanding letters from parents. I should 
like to give you a few exact quotations: 



" Your personal interest and that of the staff members in 
each student is gratifying, and your comments, because of 
your interest, are enlightening, since they show us parents 
our child an an individual, a fact that we sometimes lose 
sight of. " 

"Your comments convince me that you too have recog- 
nized many of the faults ivhich H must learn to overcome. 
With the many advantages of your splendid school and the 
inspiration of your guidance and interest. . . . H will be 
able to correct them. " 

"Except for the profanity angle. D's report contained no 
surprise for Mrs. D and me. . . . So far as I can tell from 
her letters and what she had to tell us when she was home 
over last weekend, D is really in love with the school. Her 
English teacher may be horrified to know that everything is 
'swell' — the teachers are 'swell.' the food is 'swell,' the 
girls are 'swell. ' However, we feel it is 'swell' that she feels 
that way. " 

"I would like to take this opportunity to tell you how 
much better we think M is doing this year The school has 
done wonders with her in all ways. " 

-Source: President's Report, inserted in Trustees 
minutes following the meeting of } December 1941. 



91 



one students, with sixty graduating from the Junior 
College, the school had record numbers ol withdrawals, 
scholastic failures, and expulsions. With the distrac- 
tions caused by battlefield news, parental tears, frequent 
turnover in teaching staff, air raid drills and blackouts, 
boyfriends back home, and the proximity of a large 
male population, the academic performance of the Sem- 
inarians declined and disciplinary problems increased. 
A student with previous mental disorders suffered a 
nervous breakdown in 1941, claiming that God had 
turned her into a boy and made her a prophet; a group 
of girls ran away to Washington; and several others were 
caught frequenting bars in nearby Park Hall and smok- 
ing in their dorm rooms. Two students were expelled 
for "improper relations" with men (one became preg- 
nant), and in March 1945, five more students were 
kicked out-four for breaking into a local residence and 
stealing whiskey and another for making poison in the 
chemistry lab at night. In June 1946, six members of 
the Junior College graduating class were found off 
campus in the company of Pax River sailors on the Sat- 
urday night before commencement; they received their 
diplomas but were forbidden to attend the ceremonies. 
So many items were stolen in 1946 that President France 
had everyone on campus finger-printed- instructors as 
well as students-because she believed that "two or 
three of the yourg teachers . . . did not uphold our 
standards, ... set bad examples to the students, and 
condoned their breaking of regulations. ' 

Miss France dealt with many of these crises sin- 
glehandedly, because the full Board of Trustees, with 
members now scattered throughout the state and de- 
pendent upon rationed gasoline, met infrequently dur- 
ing the war years. With the support of Trustee R. 
Bascom Broun, Jr. , and the school attorney, John H. T 
Briscoe, both of Leonardtown, the president made key 
decisions that kept the Seminary operating, despite 
rampant inflation, a shortage of provisions, and unpaid 
student bills. Miss France convinced the trustees not to 
raise tuition (although the 50-percent discount for local 
residents had to be discontinued in 1943-44); she 
calmed students and their parents in the fall of 1941 
when a case of polio was discovered at the school; she 
supervised the airplane observation post on campus, 
maintained by students twelve hours a day, seven days 
a week, for three years; she escorted Seminarians to 
dances at Charlotte Hall Academy and the Naval Air 
Station to alleviate their isolation; she personally drove 
the school cook to a Baltimore hospital to have an oper- 
ation; and shf steadfastly tried to uphold high academic 
and disciplinary standards against enormous odds. 
Having earned the praise and confidence of the trustees 



for two decades as both Seminary president and Board 
treasurer, Miss France left an important legacy to all 
subsequent chief executives at St. Mary's. When war- 
time crises necessitated the transfer of many respon- 
sibilities from the trustees to her, this woman with 
Victorian values, like countless other women who were 
liberated during the 1940s, clearly demonstrated how 
effective and decisive a leader she could be. 

The Final Crisis 

St. Mary's Female Seminary-Junior College survived 
World War II, but it very nearly did not survive the 
peace. In 1947, twenty-three years after the Great Fire, 
Miss France had to save the school one last time in her 
long tenure as president. The skill with which she did 
so ensured that this would be the final threat to the 
Seminary's existence and the final triumph of her distin- 
guished career. 

On 1 February 1947, the Maryland Commission on 
Higher Education, appointed by Governor O'Conor 
and chaired by Baltimore attorney William L. Marbury, 
issued a controversial report to then-Governor William 
Preston Lane, Jr. In its comprehensive summary, en- 
titled Higher Education in Maryland, the Marbury Com- 
mission expressed dismay that Maryland ranked forty- 
fourth among the forty-eight states in the percentage of 
eighteen- to twenty-year-olds in school. To serve a grow- 
ing, veteran-swelled population, Maryland desperately 
needed to create a "State-wide system of locally con- 
trolled junior colleges" and to "abandon" several public 
institutions of higher education that did not meet the 
Marbury Commission's specifications- including St. 
Mary's Female Seminary. Rehashing the same old preju- 
dices that had always plagued the Seminary, the Com- 
mission advised the legislature to close the school 
because it was too costly, inaccessible, small, and aca- 
demically deficient. "Apart from sentiment, there can 
be no sound reason for continuing the existence of this 
institution. ... To bring St. Mary's Female Seminary 
up to standard would increase the cost per student, al- 
ready abnormally high, and would be an unjustifiable 
expenditure of public money." 

In reaching that conclusion, totally oblivious to 
how perfectly St. Mary's fit into the new system of 
higher education it was proposing, the Marbury Com- 
mission overlooked or ignored several key facts: that the 
Seminary had pioneered the junior college movement in 
Maryland, that it granted degrees to men as well as 
women, that it was fully accredited by the state, and 
that it was the only collegiate institution in the three 
counties of Southern Maryland. School officials and 
supporters, angered by the Commission's seemingly 



92 




A page from the Seminayy vieivbook of the 1940s. Note at upper left the Dining Room, located in the basement oj Calvert 
Hall between 1845 and 1969. 



careless reliance on erroneous information, rose up with 
righteous wrath to save the Seminary from extinction 
yet another time. The Alumnae Association organized 
an extensive and effective letter-writing campaign 
within each legislative district, while the Board of 
Trustees printed and circulated a resolution of protest 
against the Marbury Commission report. Dated 14 Feb- 
ruary 1947, the trustees' resolution "deplore[d] the fact 
that the said Report appears to be based upon the find- 
ings of a single investigator, whose survey failed to in- 
clude consultation with those duly appointed to admin- 
ister the Seminary's affairs." The trustees who signed 
this challenge-Hendrickson, Magruder, Ewalt, Broun, 
Sasscer, Williams, Sothoron, and Palmer-not only de- 
manded that St. Mary's be spared but urged state offi- 
cials to "give further study to the important part which 
St. Mary's Female Seminary can assume in meeting 
Maryland's avowed urgent need for educating immature 
youth beyond high school graduation, to the end that 
this School shall fulfill its destiny by its worth as a 
Junior College- in which capacity it has served the State 
since 1926." 



In the tough bureaucratic battles that lay ahead. 
Miss France played a critical role by assembling the evi- 
dence and arguing the case for the Seminary's survival 
in both the trustees' resolution and in a printed pamph- 
let she authored and circulated with the Board's ap- 
proval. At a special meeting of the trustees on 14 Febru- 
ary 1947, President France reported on the visit of a 
two-member survey team from the Marbury Commis- 
sion in the fall of 1946, noting that their "repeated 
comment had been, 'It's too small! You don't have enough 
land! You need to have more students, et cetera.' " She 
then read her rebuttal to the Commission's recommen- 
dations, which the trustees unanimously agreed "was 
just what we needed to get before the public." In that 
rebuttal, subsequently sent to all legislators in An- 
napolis, Miss France argued that "sentiment" should in- 
deed count a great deal when the object of that senti- 
ment was the 107 -year-old Monument School, erected 
by the state to honor the founding principles of Mary- 
land. She stated that a small school was preferable to a 
large one in achieving educational excellence; that St. 
Mary's had consistently been Maryland's leader in the 



93 



'T * -.ft 





The Seminary faculty of 1947-48 and Acting President 
Louise K. Rotha (February-June 1948). A.B.. Woman's 
College of the University of North Carolina. M.S., Uni- 
versity of Chicago. Miss Rotha was registrar and advisor of 
the Student-Faculty Government both before and after her 
service as the only acting president in St. Mary's history. 
She encouraged the students to call her "Ma. " These photos 
come from the inaugural issue o/The Castellan, 1948, the 
first student yearbook. 



junior college movement; and that in return for its bud- 
geted appropriation from the state ($19,000 in 1946), 
the school gave the public twenty-nine full scholar- 
ships. Moreover, the president noted, the Seminary was 
less isolated than it had ever been, with a total ot thir- 
teen buses a day running between Lexmgton Park and 
Baltimore or Washington, while the Naval Air Station 
constituted a large local population center that provided 
new conveniences as well as many potential students for 
the school. 



On 2 July 1947, President France was present in 
Annapolis when Mr. Marbury formally reported the 
recommendations of the Commission on Higher Educa- 
tion to the Legislative Council of the General Assembly. 
Responding to the false allegation that St. Mary's was 
unaccredited, she and Trustee Ewalt "cornered [Mar- 
bury] outside [the] Assembly Room [and] reminded 
him that the Seminary's accreditation by the State De- 
partment of Education and the University of Maryland 
is printed in a Book gotten out by [his own] Com- 
mission." Before the next public hearing. Miss France 
compiled a two-page information sheet, entitled "Some 
Pertinent Facts about St. Mary's Female Seminary 
Which All Marylanders Should Know," and read it at 
the 16 July meeting ol the Legislative Council. Encour- 
aged by Dr. Thomas G. Pullen, Jr., State Superinten- 
dent ot Schools ("who seemed interested in keeping the 
school alive"), she also compiled supplemental informa- 
tion on "The Feasibility of Using St. Mary's Seminary- 
Junior College As One of the State Junior Colleges 
Suggested and Urged by the Marbury Commission." 
Addressmg the Legislative Council on that memoran- 
dum. Miss France argued that the state should not only 
preserve the school but increase support to it, since the 
Seminary had successfully served the only two western 
shore counties (St. Mary's and Calvert) that were consid- 
ered too underpopulated to warrant a junior college. 

By late 1947, the Legislative Council recommended 
to the General Assembly that St. Mary's Female Semi- 
nary-Junior College be continued as a vital state institu- 
tion of higher education. The final decision on St. 
Mary's was rendered a year later, on 1 December 1948, 
by the Educational Committee of the General Assem- 
bly, which completely rejected the Marbury Commis- 
sion's view ot the school. The legislators criticized the 
Commission's obsession with student per capita costs 
and demonstrated less concern "with numbers in the 
student body [than] . . . with the quality and thor- 
oughness of the courses." Once again, the past of the 
Seminary helped assure its future, as the legislators' fi- 
nal report stated: "This school . . . was erected at the 
site ot the first landing in Maryland and was intended as 
a monument . . . permanent in nature. Through the 
years it has been a real cultural center and has sent out 
many young women equipped with a culture and refine- 
ment which is all too rare in modern education. The 
cost to the State is relatively small. The school should 
continue." 

Unfortunately, by the time the Educational Com- 
mittee issued its favorable recommendation on the Sem- 
inary, Miss France was no longer at the school. Suffering 
a coronary occlusion in December 1947, just when 



94 



legislative opinion turned in favor of St. Mary's, the vet- 
eran president was unable to resume her duties through- 
out the spring term of 1948 and tendered her resigna- 
tion, effective 30 June 1948. From February through 
June 1948, St. Mary's had its first and only "acting pres- 
ident, " when Miss Louise K. Rotha, beloved science 
teacher and school registrar, carried out the responsi- 
bilities of chief executive until Miss A. May Russell as- 
sumed the presidency. Miss Rotha had abandoned a 
promising career as a scientific researcher at New York 
University and Cornell University Medical School be- 
cause of arthritis, and she served as acting president of 
the Seminary while almost completely deaf. 

Miss France lived six more years at the Shady Nook 
Nursing Home in Catonsville until her death on 17 Sep- 
tember 1954, at age seventy-four. After funeral services 
at Emmanuel Episcopal Church in Chestertown, she 
was laid to rest in the town of her birth. 

The Legacy of Adele Frame 

The strain of a quarter-century at the helm of the much- 
buffeted old Seminary, with trials and triumphs in 
equal measure, exacted a heavy toll on the woman 
whom all revered as the "School Mother." Miss France 
had transformed a small and often-ignored female semi- 
nary into an innovative junior college that was belatedly 
praised by state officials. Along the way, she earned dis- 
tinctions for herself and the school. She was elected to 
the Executive Committee of the Junior College Council 
of the Middle Atlantic States, and in 1942, Miss France 
stood alongside Eleanor Roosevelt to receive an honor- 





President France in her beloved jhu'er garden, seekiny^ se- 
renity during the turmoil of World War II. She was fond of 
advertising the Seminary as "A Home School in a Garden 
Setting. " 



Mary Adele France (17 February 1880-17 September 
1954). the "School Mother" A. B.. A.M.. Litt.D.. 
Washington College: M.A.. Teachers College, Columbia 
University. Principal of St. Mary's Female Seminary, 
1923-1937: founder of the Junior College, 1926- 
1928; president of the Seminary and Junior College, 
1937-1948. Portrait by Colonel James M. Wharton 
of Baltimore, 1947. 



ary doctorate from Washington College. The student 
evaluation procedures that President France instituted 
at St. Mary's earned the Semmary recognition from the 
American Association of Junior Colleges, the Junior 
College Workshop, and Johns Hopkins University. At 
times, outsiders appreciated the school more than state 
officials did. In February 1942, Mrs. Marian W Pease, 
a psychologist and guidance counselor from New York 
City, wrote of her recent visit to the campus: "I was pre- 
pared to find the most unique college in the United 
States, and I was certainly not disappointed; as a matter 
of fact, I have been talking about St. Mary's ever since." 
Miss France was responsible for the unique qualities 
at St. Mary's Female Seminary-Junior College. Her spe- 
cial blend of old values and new pedagogy perhaps had 
most to do with saving the school from oblivion in 
1947. The Legislative Council twice visited the Semi- 
nary and observed, among other quaint customs, the 
"daily evening family prayer" led by the president her- 
self. Of course, such old-fashioned traditionalism ap- 
pealed to the legislators, who commended the school 
for "the excellent manner in which it is conducted." 
But the point is, the students also seem to have appreci- 



95 



A Student Recollection of the Seminary, 1948- 1950 

The sense of isolation helped {promote} closeness. W'f had to 
sign out to go for a walk in the afternoon. We could u alk as 
far as Brown's Store, which was right across from Mat- 
tapany (Road}. We could go to Father White's nioniinient in 
the other direction. Aside from that, you didn't leave 
campus. And campus was the original seven acres. You 
didn't even cross the road to the parish house or the white 
house. Only 100 students. Faculty lived amongst the kids- 
they had single rooms in Calvert. . . . The ficulty sat at 
dinner table with us. A faculty member at each table (of 
eight students}. . . . with white linen table cloths. {Stu- 
dents} rotated every three weeks, so that you irere constantly 
changing your table companions and your faculty members. 
Had to ask to be excused. 

We were like a large family. Couldn't leave campus to 
go home for . . . the first six weeks of school. . . . The 
buses arrived from the Atwood Bus Company-and we did 



not travel in jeans: {had to wear} dresses, ivhite gloves and 
hats. Miss France stood in the center hall of Calvert 
. . . {and} when we left, we had to kiss {her} goodbye. 
She ivas our mother away from home. . . . And when we 
came in, we kissed her and she welcomed us home. 

The school sat on one side {of Trinity Church}, the pa- 
rishioners on the other. The rector used to gear his sermons to 
the locals. I remember one Sunday something came up about 
percolators. We all sat there kind of bored, and ive all de- 
cided to perk! The whole {student} side of the church {went} 
"perk-perk-perk-perk. " {We were like} siblings-so attuned 
to things that you really don't have to say it, you almost feel 
It. Of course, we got severely reprimanded. . . . {For disci- 
pline} ice were camp used to our rooms . . . and we could 
not speak or be spoken to for a whole week. 

-Source: Taped interview with Louise Jarvis Claypoole 
(Mrs. Robert V. Orr), high school '48, Junior College '50 
(Alumni Reunion, June 1984); transcription in Alumni Asso- 
ciation files. 



ated the nostalgic, affectionate, and homey environ- 
ment at the Seminary, despite-or because ol-the fast- 
changing values of modern American life. 

Miss France was committed to the cultivation of the 
timeless social graces and of a warm family atmosphere 
at St. Mary's. She cared for her students and demon- 
strated that caring like few other college presidents ever 
had or would again. Creating a home-like Victorian en- 
vironment on campus, she found the time in a hectic 
schedule to write verses to the students during exam 
week, to plant and pick flowers for the dining tables, to 
hug all of the girls as they departed and returned at hol- 
iday time, and to lead the evening candle-light pro- 
cession to Trinity Church every Christmas season. Miss 
France was old-fashioned and only grudgingly admitted 
that the gentility and grace of the nineteenth century 
had faded forever, and yet she welcomed the creation of 
the Naval Air Station lor the new social outlets it would 
provide her isolated students. She was rigid about disci- 
pline and academic standards, but that inflexibility in 
the search for excellence would serve the school well as 
it evolved, increasingly prepared and respected, into se- 
nior college status. 



This special, tireless woman departed the Seminary 
she loved in the only appropriate manner tor someone 
with her energy and devotion-carried out, seriously ill 
and incapacitated. As she lay, confined and inactive, in a 
distant nursing home, she was always gladdened bv 
news of "her girls." 

The mission and the vision of Miss France continue 
to influence St. Mary's today. She left future presidents 
with a model of devoted leadership and energetic per- 
severence that had saved St. Mary's from extmction in 
her first, and again in her last, year in office. But Adele 
France's greatest legacy will always be her pioneering 
Junior College. By experimenting with the school cur- 
riculum in 1926-27, she consciously united tradition 
and innovation to create a hybrid institution that re- 
affirmed the old Seminary's caring virtues on a collegi- 
ate level and introduced modern standards of academic 
excellence that were hard tor the public to ignore and 
virtually impossible for the state to abandon. Through 
the expert nurturing of a patient gardener. Miss France's 
little seedling survived for forty years until it blossomed 
into St. Mary's College of Maryland-a most special 
flower indeed. 



^(> 




The Seminary candle-light service that was traditionally held in Trinity 
Episcopal Church every Christmas season while Miss France was president. 



Stately she stands on the shore of her hay 

Watching the tides that sweep over the land. 

Sounding the depths of the waters that play 

In the night watches, when moments are grand. 

Monument through which the warm blood of life 

Pulses in heart throbs its vision again. 

Moulding as beacon through calm and in strife 

Daughters of women, mothers of men. 

Challenge of centuries, mark us today! 

Yesterday's needs with its moments are gone, 

Out through the present we measure the way 

Spirit with spirit is carrying on. 

-Attributed to Miss France, written on the occasion of the 
school's centenary. 



97 






^^7.i^i* 



.Ss.i.-> < 



.^ 



A * ^ / 







^;^ 



■:^^!^. 



"*^'*?^*^' 



>r^^j^^^Pr! 




The College feels that it is important for a people 

to have an appreciation of and a respect for their 

heritage as handed down by those hardy souls who 

originated the pattern of our culture. Our 

understanding of contemporary life depends to 

a great extent upon an intelligent view of the past. 

Future growth depends on our ability to apply this 

understanding to current problems. 

-President May Russell, Introduction to "The Birth of 

Tolerance" Pageant, 1959- 



FOREVER YOUNG: 

The Old School and the Neiv College, 1948-1990 

CHAPTER IV 



Rescued from oblivion tor one final time in 
1947-48, St. Mary's Female Seminary-Junior 
College looked forward to a bright future of greater ser- 
vice to the citizens of Maryland. It has never looked 
back since. Under three talented and dynamic presi- 
dents in the postwar era-Dr. A. May Russell (1948- 
1969), Dr. J. Renwick Jackson, Jr. (1969-1982), and 
Dr. Edward T Lewis (I983-present)-St. Mary's has 
matured and modernized rapidly, enjoying increased 
state support tor an unprecedented building boom. But 
St. Mary's also became better as it grew bigger, retain- 
ing the traditional intimacy and timeless values ot the 
old school even as it was transformed into a new senior 
college of the liberal arts. What we celebrate in this ses- 
quicentennial anniversary year is that successful blend- 
ing of old and new at St. Mary's-the continuity with 
meaningful principles first expressed in the 184()s and 
the many changes that have prepared this institution tor 
the complex challenges ot the twenty-first century. 

Enter May Russell 

Since 1900, each chief executive of St. Mary's has left 
her or his successor a much-improved institution on the 
threshold of a new era. Lucy "Virginia Maddox turned 



Calvert Hall — centerpiece and symbol of the old school and 
the new College- as it was rebuilt in 1924-25 on the foun- 
dations of 1844- 



over a reputable, old-fashioned female seminary to M. 
Adele France, who directed its critical transformations 
into a modern, accredited high school and then into an 
exceptional, pioneering junior college. When she re- 
tired in June 1948, after a quarter century of service, 
the school had emerged from crisis stronger than ever, 
but it was at another critical crossroads. What did the 
future hold for the institution, and how would it adjust 
to the new challenges and opportunities of the postwar 
period.'' Would St. Mary's remain a four-year junior col- 
lege for women, or become a more conventional two- 
year junior college for both women and men.-' Or did St. 
Mary's possess the potential to seek the most ambitious 
and difficult goal of all-transformation into a coeduca- 
tional baccalaureate college? 

Since Adele France had greatly expanded the powers 
and responsibilities of the Seminary president, making 
that office the source of present missions and future vi- 
sions, the trustees knew that their selection ot her suc- 
cessor was probably the most crucial one in the school's 
history. In a momentous meeting held on 21 May 1948, 
the Board of Trustees convened in Congressman Lans- 
dale G. Sasscer's office in Washington, D.C., to inter- 
view and vote on three candidates for president (two 
women and a man). Vice-Chairman R. Bascom Broun, 
Jr., of Leonardtown, nominated thirty-three-year-old 
Anna May Russell, who received "a large majority of 
the votes" and was declared unanimously elected. She 
had obviously impressed the trustees with her person- 



99 




The young, iktnmined May Russtll. as she appeared in the 
1949 yearbook at the beginning of her long presidency. 



ality and leadership abilities, because she was the only 
one of the three candidates who did not hold a doctor- 
ate". Miss Russell immediately accepted the presidency, 
effective 1 July, at an annual salary of $5,500 plus "lull 
maintenance." 

Born in Maddox, a St. Mary's County community 
some thirty miles from the Seminary, President Russell 
had earned her B.S. at Western Maryland College and, 
like Miss France, had taught high school mathematics 
before receiving a master's degree from Teachers Col- 
lege, Columbia University. She had done additional 
graduate work at the University of Michigan, Johns 
Hopkins, and Harvard (and would receive an honorary 
LL.D. from Western Maryland College in May 1950). 
Before coming to St. Mary's, a school she knew well be- 
cause her sister Mary Eliza had graduated from the Sem- 
inary in 1926, President Russell had taught at Margaret 
Brent High School in her home county, at Annapolis 
High School, at the Horace Mann-Lincoln School of Ex- 
perimentation at Columbia University, and at Salisbury 
State Teachers College. While at Columbia, she had 
taken several aviation courses, which led her to teach 
aeronautics to future Navy pilots during World War II. 
Miss Russell received her pilot's license in 1947, and 
perhaps the eighty-one flight hours in her "little red 



monoplane" helped prepare the young president to nav- 
igate the old school into a daring and uncharted new 
future. 

As impressive as Miss Russell's academic credentials 
were, her greatest strengths were her intangible quali- 
ties- the dynamism ot youthful energy, a lifelong com- 
mitment to the educational needs ot her native county, 
and a fierce, personal determination to master every 
challenge. These qualities were much in evidence from 
the beginning of her long tenure, as she made an imme- 
diate impact on old St. Mary's. President Russell had 
been in office only five months when, in November 
1948, the Board of Trustees unanimously commended 
"her great understanding of the problems confronting 
the school and the masterly manner in . . . solving 
them." By that date, she had already proposed the elim- 
ination of the eleventh and twelfth grades and sug- 
gested the name change to St. Mary's Seminary Junior 
College-dropping "Female" in the hopes of making the 
institution fully coeducational. (The latter provision 
was approved by the General Assembly, signed into law 
by Governor William Preston Lane, Jr. , on 6 May, and 
became effective 1 July 1949.) In her first year in office, 
President Russell aggressively recruited collegiate stu- 
dents, sending a Seminary slide-show to some fifty high 
schools statewide; proposed the remodeling ot Calvert 
Hall for more dormitory space and the erection of a 
large modern classroom building; made provisions for 
black students to take the school's competitive state 




The logo of St. Mary's Seminary, from a letter-sweater of the 
early 1950s. "Female" was officially dropped from the school 
name beginning in the 1949-50 academic year 



100 



scholarship examinations; raised annual tuition and 
boarding charges to $700 ($200 and $500, respec- 
tively); and instituted the first student honor code at St. 
Mary's. These efforts paid off by the president's second 
year in office, as full-time enrollment jumped from 73 
to 107, with a doubling of Junior College students. 

The dynamism of the new president was also evi- 
dent in her outreach to the surrounding community 
The Artist and Lecture Series was improved and ex- 
panded to bring cultural enrichment to local citizens; 
the College choir regularly performed at area schools 
and churches; Seminarians more actively participated in 
joint programs with Charlotte Hall Military Academy, 
the U.S.O. at the Naval Air Station, and the United 
States Naval Academy; and the Gymnasium was made 
available to county groups for a variety of activities. The 
school's colorful May Queen Festival drew much press 
attention every year, and President Russell surpassed 
even Adele France's love of pageantry by producing a 
new outdoor historical drama, "The Birth of Toler- 
ance," from 1950 through 1959. Written by a young 
Georgetown University playwright, David V. Turn- 
burke (who was engaged to a teacher at the Seminary), 
this elaborate "pageant-play" involved the entire stu- 
dent body and used various sites within the old capital 
to explain the colonial legacies that influenced the 
Monument School. Many alumnae fondly recall the 
I950s-the golden age of the four-year Junior College 
and its last decade of existence-because of the exciting 
and glamorous extracurricular activities that May Rus- 
sell encouraged. 

President Russell's early initiatives for increased 
enrollments, expanded facilities, and greater public vis- 
ibility were designed to transform St. Mary's into a 
modernized, coeducational two-year junior college as 
quickly as possible. But her ultimate goal, indeed her 
personal dream, from the beginning extended far beyond 
that. When the Southern Maryland Times reported in 
May 1951 that Dr. Russell's "long-range aim ... is to 
convert the school into a four year college," few trustees 
and virtually no state officials shared her confident 
optimism. One virtue of the president's plan was that 
regional and national trends favored the rapid expansion 
of collegiate facilities in the 1950s and 1960s; another 
was that every state-funded improvement to St. Mary's 
Seminary Junior College could be and would be used to 
justify the creation of St. Mary's College of Maryland. In 
making her personal dream a public reality, President 
Russell had to balance her visions of a future senior col- 
lege with the pragmatic, day-to-day administration of 
the Junior College, which held the key to that future. 
One of her strengths as a leader was her ability to main- 



c^g^ 



May Russell's Honor Code 

Since 1949 the Honor System has provided an excellent 
background against which students have learned to under- 
stand and accept personal ethics. The Honor System at St. 
Mary's is based on the belief that students can successfully 
accept the responsibility (f establishing and nuiintaining 
standards in social and academic life. 

Each entering student must feel . . . that he can give 
his active support to the Honor System. The entering fresh- 
man student should realize that its success, which is of 
great importance to him personally and to the whole stu- 
dent body, and indeed to the college itself depends upon the 
willingness of each individual to contribute to an at- 
mosphere of integrity and mutual confidence that is. in the 
final analysis, the total purpose of the Honor System on the 
St. Mary's campus. 

During orientation, and before registration, each new 
student is required to sign a pledge card and to place his 
signature in the Honor Pledge Book. This, in effect, states 
that he understands what is expected of him under the 
Honor System and that infractions of the Honor Code at 
any time during his student days may be punishable by 
dismissal from the college. 

The Pledge 

As a student of St. Mary's. I pledge to uphold tBe 
Honor System in that I will not lie. cheat, or steal. I fur- 
ther pledge to report any infraction of which I have first- 
hand information. 

I realize that the success of our Honor System depends 
upon every student's awareness of his oivn responsibility in 
helping not only himself but also others to maintain the 
ideals of our Honor System. 

-Source; The Honor System Handbook, St. Mary's College 
of Maryland, 1965. 



tain a congenial and enriching campus environment tor 
the traditional Seminarians even as she implemented 
ambitious policies that would eventually transform St. 
Mary's into a very different institution. 

In May 1950, President Russell initiated a sig- 
nificant program of campus expansion and capital im- 
provements that have led to forty years of growth and 
modernization. At that time, the school added the first 
significant land to its campus since 1844 with the pur- 
chase of four acres of seventeenth-century Governor's 
Field from Trustee J. Spence Howard and his wife, Jean- 



101 



(^^? 



Visiting Artists and Lecturers 

Throughout the 1950s, St. Mary's sponsored a wide 
variety of extracurricular programs that alleviated 
the isolation on this rural campus. In addition to 
the annual field-trip to Colonial Williamsburg and 
the frequent commutes to concerts in Washington, 
D.C., St. Mary's students were treated to campus 
visits by distinguished artists and lecturers. Among 
the most notable were: 
1949-Stephen Hero, violinist 
1950-Evelyn MacGregor, vocalist 
195 1- Peter Melnikoff, concert pianist 

Bennington College Dance Group 

Irene Hawthorne and members of the Metro- 
politan Opera Ballet Company 
1952-William L. Shirer, journalist and historian 

Two plays by the Barter Theatre ol Virginia 
195 3 -Jean Carlton, vocalist 
195 5 -Cornelia Otis Skinner, actress 
1956-Lilian Kallir, pianist 
1957-Charlie Ruggles, actor 

Dr. I. M. Levitt, astronomer 
1958-Sir Cedric Hardwicke, actor 

Susann McDonald, harpist 
1959-Remo Bolognini and the Baltimore 
Symphony Orchestra 

Barter Theatre's production of "The Mouse- 
trap" 

Baron Flary von Blomberg, diplomat 

-Source: Scrapbook of newspaper clippings. Alumni 
Archives. 



nette, principal heir to the extensive Brome family 
estate at St. Mary's City. Combining surplus funds with 
a new $500,000 state appropriation, the Seminary 
erected two buildings on this key parcel- Margaret 
Brent Hall in 1951 (providing much-needed faculty 
housing) and Anne Arundel Hall in 1954 (the first 
structure in the school's history designed exclusively for 
classroom use). The state's unprecedentedly large finan- 
cial commitment resulted from the legislative sponsor- 
ship of State Senators Paul J. Bailey (St. Mary's County), 
Louis L. Goldstein (Calvert), and James B. Monroe 
(Charles) and the strong support ot local citizens, most 
notably the nationally known radio commentator Ful- 
ton Lewis, Jr., of Hollywood, Maryland. The press also 
hinted that Governor Theodore R. McKeldin had 
signed the appropriations bill on 30 April 195 1 because 



Dr. Russell had "bowed smilingly" before him. Not for- 
getting how the past could influence the future, she 
told the Washington Sunday Star that "charm is as impor- 
tant now as it was in the days of the hoop-skirt and 
curtsy. " 

President Russell's elation with the growth and 
change on campus was to be short-lived, however. Pa- 
tience and perseverance would be the watchwords for 
the next several years, as declining enrollments threat- 
ened both the immediate and long-range plans for the 
school's development. The 1949-50 enrollment of 
eighty-eight boarding students had been so large that 
the school had required advanced room deposits for the 
first time in St. Mary's history, but the student popula- 
tion declined precipitously soon after. The enrollment 
of full-time boarders dropped to 69 in 1950-51 and to 
57 in 1951-52, before beginning a gradual resurgence; 
72 m 1952-53, 78 in 1953-54, 88 in 1954-55, 97 in 
1955-56, and 102 in 1956-57. President Russell ex- 
plained to the trustees that the sharp decline in stu- 
dents for the 1950-51 academic year was "due to the 
fact that sixteen of the counties of Maryland were with- 
out graduating classes in June, 1950, because of in- 
stituting another grade in the elementary schools." 

That fluke cost the Seminary dearly. The Junior 




A smm fyiim tin 1 9 37 " Birth of Tolerance Pageant. " depict- 
ing Mistress Margaret Brent demanding the right to vote 
from the Assembly. This popular pageant-play uas the 
brainchild of President Russell and was performed each 
spring from 1930 through 1939. 



102 




The gnmiiJ-bitukiiii^ unwuii) for Ainu Arundd llall. HJuiil 1'J)3- Cuixriiuy 'ibuicluyu K. MiKddiii mam tl.h ihuvJ. 
while President Russell appears in one of her trademark stylish hats. 



College was denied accreditation by the Middle States 
Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools on 3 May 
195 1 — the same day the press reported the state funding 
tor Anne Arundel Hall-because it was unable to attract 
"sufficient numbers of students to insure stability." Al- 
though the Middle States visitation committee recog- 
nized that "the College is in a state of transition," it 
could not excuse the fact that the forty-two resident col- 
legians tell far short of the minimum of seventy-five 
tull-time students needed for junior college accredita- 
tion, or that nineteen of the sixty-nine catalog courses 
had no enrollees that year. Despite St. Mary's fine repu- 
tation among peer institutions- symbolized by its host- 
ing of 171 delegates to the Maryland Association of 
Junior Colleges annual convention in April 1951-the 
serious enrollment deficiencies created an "urgent need 
for a re-examination of the purposes and objectives of 
the college," according to the Middle States report. 

The Years of Uncertainty 

St. Mary's Seminary Junior College would have to en- 
dure the next eight years without nationally recognized 



accreditation, and only the continuity and creativity of 
the president and trustees brought it through those 
dark, uncertain days. The events of May 1951 sent 
mixed signals to school administrators, and they faced 
perplexing dilemmas in trying to build new facilities 
for declining numbers of students and to enlarge enroll- 
ments at a junior college lacking an academic seal- 
of-approval. One proposed solution was to drop the 
eleventh and twelfth grades and to create a conventional 
two-year junior college; however, the trustees were re- 
luctant to do so because the High School Division had 
been reaccredited by the Middle States Association (de- 
spite having its lowest enrollments for the twentieth 
century). The accreditation decisions of 195 1 apparently 
had an enormous impact on the public perceptions of 
St. Mary's, and school officials were forced to react ac- 
cordingly. The positive recommendation on the high 
school curriculum resulted in an influx of new students 
to that division, while the negative report on Junior 
College accreditation dropped collegiate enrollments to 
their lowest level since the 1930s. President Russell and 
the trustees were now obliged to retain the anachronis- 



103 



tic four-year Junior College in order to keep St. Mary's 
solvent, and they faced the enormous challenge of dou- 
bling collegiate enrollments at a time when there were 
growing numbers of newer and more conveniently lo- 
cated community colleges in many parts of Maryland. 
President Russell knew that St. Mary's was at a crit- 
ical crossroads in the early 1950s, and she applied her- 
self to the daunting task of recruiting more students to 
a distant, rural, and unaccredited school that lacked ad- 
equate facilities (Anne Arundel Hall would not open 
until 1954) and charged the highest fees in Seminary 
history (tuition, room, and board of $800 in 1952). 
Rising to the challenge, she hired the Seminary's first 
professional admissions officer, who visited 108 high 
schools in the 1951-52 academic year alone. Russell 
also produced expensive recruitment materials begin- 
ning in 1952-5.^ and appointed a "Publicity person" 
for 1953-54 to handle both admissions activities and 



media relations. This new director of public relations 
was Harrison E. Tawney (M. Ed., Kent State Univer- 
sity), the first male member of the administrative staff 
at St. Mary's since Mr. Meany in 1846. In his first year, 
Tawney visited every public high school in Maryland, 
several more in Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Delaware, 
and many private secondary schools in Baltimore. 

Despite these impressive efforts at statewide re- 
cruiting, the immediate solution to the Seminary's en- 
rollment problems was found in St. Mary's County it- 
selt-in the form of local, non-boarding "extension 
students" who needed no introduction to the school. 
The population of the county in 1950 was double that of 
1940, and a higher percentage of the surrounding com- 
munity sought collegiate instruction than ever before. 
In becoming more of a "people's college" than even Ad- 
ele France had envisioned, St. Mary's admitted twenty- 
six lull-time commuting students in 195 1 — 52, who ac- 



■ ■ ^ 
■ i 




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- <f»r»*-' J*"^"^* 



#::"- 




Scenes from campus life at the still-tradititmal St. Mary's Seminary J iinmr College nj the early l^yOs. 

104 



counted tor 54 percent of the collegiate enrollment that 
academic year. The numbers declined slightly in the 
next two years, but in 1954-55, St. Mary's Seminary 
Jimior College enrolled seventy-seven commuters as 
tuU-time students (sixty-three in the four-year-old Eve- 
ning Division), which represented almost twice the 
number of resident collegians. By the following aca- 
demic year, commuters accounted for a majority q{ all 
students at the school. The sudden growth of the Eve- 
ning Division alone— from no students in 1949—50 to 
228 in 1956-57-solved the enrollment dilemma but 
created other problems tor an institution in transition. 
The successful outreach to local students who were 
"nontraditional" on the basis of age, gender, and/or edu- 
cational needs had an important and immediate impact 
on the regular "Sem-Fems" living in Calvert Hall. Since 
the 1920s, St. Mary's had always had a few non-boarders 
-usually male commuting students, or "day-hops," as 
they came to be called- but the largest number ot men 
enrolled in any year before 1955 was ten. In 1955-56 
alone, however, eighteen male "day-hops" registered tor 
the fall semester and an additional eighteen male "co- 
hops" enrolled for the spring term. (Co-hops were co- 
operative education students pursuing an engineering 
program in conjunction with the University of Mary- 
land and the Patuxent River Naval Air Station.) This 
nucleus was large enough to form the first Men's Stu- 
dent Government Association and to field the first men's 
varsity basketball team during that academic year. The 
first full-time male faculty members in St. Mary's his- 
tory had arrived in 1954-55 to accommodate the grow- 
mg numbers of men students. These new professors, all 
of whom had previous teaching experience at tour-year 
colleges, were: B. Elwood Fahl (M.S., University ot 
North Dakota), chemistry and physics; Arthur "Whit- 
man (M.A., Iowa State University), speech and theatre 
arts; Kenneth "W. Wood (M.A., University of Ken- 
tucky), modern languages; and Kemp P. Yarborough 
(M.A., University of South Carolina, LL.B., "Wake For- 
est College Law School, Ph.D. candidate, Columbia 
University), social sciences. The sudden mfiux ot males 
quickly became the topic of campus conversation and de- 
bate, and the 6 March 1956 issue ot the Signal News 
contained four articles on the new phenomenon ot coed- 
ucation. Some Sem-Fems saw the contusing array ot 
"regular day-hops, special day-hops, co-ops, and spe- 
cial co-ops" as destructive of the nostalgic Seminary sis- 
terhood that had attracted them to St. Mary's in the first 
place. As early as 1955, many students predicted that 
coeducation would eventually transform the school into 
a vastly altered senior college, and they saw themselves 
as the last traditional Seminarians who would know the 




The close sisterhood of the old Seminary u oidd he challeny^ed 
by the influx of males on campus in the mid-1950s. The 
"beanie" tacked to the bulletin board uas used in the tradi- 
tional hazing period for freshmen. 



special female heritage that had existed at St. Mary's for 
a century. 

The administrative commitment to coeducation 
and the growing male enrollments that resulted were 
essential to the future development of St. Mary's as ei- 
ther a junior or a senior college. Although much ot the 
traditional Seminary would be sacrificed to progress, 
the school would have faced ultimate extinction it Presi- 
dent Russell and the Board of Trustees had not acted 
decisively to bolster enrollments in the early 1950s. 
Most of the Sem-Fems did not realize the degree to 
which school officials were being scrutinized tor their 
flexibility and creativity in meeting the new educa- 
tional challenges of the postwar era. Evaluators from the 
Middle States Association returned to campus in April 
1958 and were pleasantly surprised that the total enroll- 
ment had risen from 84 to 310 students in only seven 
years. Although they described St. Mary's as an "admi- 
rable junior college," they would not recommend ac- 
creditation until school officials dealt with the issue of 
the Evening Division. Ironically, the "night school" had 
solved the enrollment deficiencies too well, with almost 
four times the number of full-time boarders (5.^), and 
the Middle States Association was concerned that St. 
Mary's would quickly lose its "unity of educational aims 
and spirit" in trying to accommodate such different, 
and often incompatible, constituencies. A preliminary 



105 




The May Queen of 1964. Kathi McKenmt. and the princesses of her court. Ri.n .\Jh,ii\il J.mws Lee of the Naval Air Sta- 
tion officiates at the crowning ceremonies in the Garden of Remembrance. The May Day Festival reflected the glamour that 
May Russell brought to the lives of the Sem-Fems even as she was assuring the rapid extinction of such activities in the move 
to senior college status. 



Middle States report issued in November 1958 praised 
St. Mary's for having "come through a critical and try- 
ing period with credit," but warned that "the next 
twelve months will show whether [school officials} 
. . . have the strength and wisdom to consolidate their 
gains and regenerate the mvigorating intellectual at- 
mosphere which is the . . . one difference between a 
dull and an exciting college." 

President Russell and the trustees used those twelve 
months in which accreditation was in limbo to make 
some crucial decisions on the future of St. Mary's. The 
Evening Division, which diverted "about three hun- 
dred man hours . . . each week" from the regular Sem- 
inary curriculum, would be retained but modified to 
emphasize quality over quantity in both the course 
offerings and student body. The "intelligence and ma- 
turity" of nontraditional students had been amply dem- 
onstrated, and the school would continue to be enriched 
by adult commuters down to the present. However, 
academic excellence in the liberal arts would not be 
compromised, and purely vocational subjects were 
eliminated in order to preserve the special character of 
the institution. In abandoning the very popular engi- 
neering courses because they were "educationally 



unsound, " the St. Mary's administrators made a coura- 
geous decision to uphold high academic standards de- 
spite a substantial loss of revenue. 

St. Mary's left the crossroads in 1959, rejecting the 
route of a community college and keeping to its tradi- 
tional path as a residential school of the liberal arts. It 
was now clear to all, including the Middle States Asso- 
ciation, that the Seminary had a future clearly charted 
by accomplished leaders. After three additional prog- 
ress reports by President Russell and yet another visit 
by a new team of outside evaluators, the Middle States 
Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools finally 
accredited St. Mary's Seminary Junior College on 28 
November 1959. The final evaluation, entitled "Point 
of No Return," praised school officials for refocusing 
the Seminary's "fine old tradition" on "the new needs of 
a changing society." Convinced of the "continuity of 
progress" at St. Mary's, the evaluators wrote: "The 
trustees, administration, and faculty are aware that 
these excellent beginnings only clear the way for the 
college's real future. It is a sound educational institution 
now, giving its students good value for their time and 
money, but even more than most colleges, St. Mary's 
has entrancing possibilities for becoming as fine an institu- 



106 



tion of higher education as it really wants to . . . [at 
an} "incnasingly advantagmiis [time]." The Middle 
States, however, specifically "caution[ed] against ex- 
pansion into a four-year program" before "the achieve- 
ment of excellence as a junior college." Noting that 
excellence costs more than competence, the educational 
experts warned of "two temptations: complacency . . . 
and expansion into a tour— year program, which would 
be fatal to quahty in the foreseeable future. The thing 
to do now is to win an unchallengeable reputation for 
St. Mary's as an absolutely first-rate junior college. 
There could be no finer goal." 

A Decade of Explosive Change: 1960—1969 
That advice was not heeded, as a "finer goal" was in fact 
realized in the rapid evolution of St. Mary's to senior 
college status. Receiving national accreditation after 
thirty-three years of operation, the Junior College ex- 
isted tor only eight more years. A remarkable conver- 
gence of favorable factors- the unprecedented gener- 
osity of state tunding, the unprecedented availability of 
land tor campus expansion, and the unprecedented stu- 



dent demand for collegiate education- precluded the 
slow and cautious development that the Middle States 
Association had deemed desirable. Few American col- 
leges have experienced such explosive, convulsive, and 
significant changes within a single decade — a decade 
that began with the ending of the Seminary high school 
atter 113 years and ended with the beginning of St. 
Mary's College of Maryland as a baccalaureate institu- 
tion. Grasping opportunities that were indeed "in- 
creasingly advantageous" during the 1960s, St. Mary's 
became like a boom-town in a gold rush, making the 
most of its "entrancing possibilities" and vast potential 
while it had the chance. 

The dizzying decade of change opened with one ot 
the most memorable years in the history of St. Mary's. 
In I960, the Seminary graduated its final class ot high 
school seniors in June, and the reorganized, two-year 
Junior College admitted its first freshman class in Sep- 
tember. A new era had dawned. During the 1960-61 
academic year, John F. Kennedy's election and inaugura- 
tion as America's first Roman Catholic president was the 
ultimate vindication of the Calverts' legacy ot religious 




The end of an era— Commencement Day, 3 June I960. This is the last high school class to graduate from St. Mary's after 
more than a century of Seminary operation. In alphabetical order the members of this milestone class were: Marion August 
Blunt. Donna Lee Doeller. Janice Louise Endrizzi, Lelia Eleanora Gardiner. Pamela Price Jones, Barbara Wynne 
Laughead. Shirley Lockwood Moore. Rebecca Irene Murray, Gail Hamblen Naylor. Patricia Lyn Ottotneyer, Patricia Diane 
Parker. Patricia Louise Stellivagon. Nancy Priest Stevens, Frances Mae Turner, Priscilla Yvonne Whittaker, Leila Kathryn 
Willis, and Elizabeth Stuart Wilkinson. 



107 



toleration. On campus, expectations for the rejuvenated 
Junior College seemed as refreshingly optimistic as 
those for Kennedy's "Camelot." St. Mary's now had 
seven permanent administrators (president, registrar, 
director of admissions, librarian, assistant librarian, 
dean of women, and director of public relations) and fif- 
teen full-time faculty members, holding four docto- 
rates and seventeen M.A.s as terminal degrees. The 
school's annual operating budget, counting salaries, was 
$323,382, and its tangible assets of $1,116,650 in- 
cluded land and improvements appraised at $93,397, 
buildings worth $848,907, equipment valued at 
$158,346, and endowment funds of almost $16,000. 
The academic year began with 14 1 full-time students in 
the Day Division, including 98 female boarders in Cal- 
vert Hall (60 of them freshmen) and 31 male com- 
muters, with another 113 enrolled in the Evening Divi- 
sion (69 men, 44 women). The Junior College now 
charged $250 for in-state tuition, $450 for out-of-state 
students, and $750 for a year's room and board. 

The progressive spirit of the "new" St. Mary's Semi- 
nary Junior College was even more obvious in the dra- 
matic expansion of the campus. The school, which had 
acquired only eleven acres of land during its first 110 
years, added another 274 acres between 1956 and 1969 
alone. Emerging from the constricting cocoon of the old 
campus boundaries (the river and Route 5), St. Mary's 
was like a maturing butterfly that needed room to 
spread its wings. In May 1956, the school paid $18,000 
for 119.63 acres along the bend of Route 5 north of 
Chancellors Creek (also known as Wherrits or Fisher- 
mans Pond) from the original holdings of the defunct 
Slavic Farmers Association of Maryland. This was the 
largest single tract ever acquired by St. Mary's, and its 
placement, more than a half-mile from the original 
campus, dictated the development of a separate "North 
Campus." In 1959-60, the firm of Olmsted Brothers, 
landscape architects of Brookline, Massachusetts, de- 
signed a master plan of development that advised the 
use of the old "South Campus" for instructional pur- 
poses, while reserving the new "North Campus" for 
student residences and recreation. The plan called for 
the construction of a student union-dining facility, up 
to four additional dormitories, a new auditorium, a 
fieldhouse, athletic fields, an infirmary, and a library— at 
a projected cost of $4.5 million. (Fortunately, the Board 
rejected one of the consultants' proposals- to remove 
the "architecturally unimportant" Alumni Lodge, 
where May Russell lived throughout her tenure as 
president.) 

In 1959, with accreditation imminent and the need 
for expansion verified. President Russell and the 



trustees took their "Ten-Year Development Plan" to 
state officials for approval and funding. Although they 
made their requests in modest stages, beginning with a 
$170,000 proposal for new faculty housing, neither 
Governor J. Millard Tawes, nor the State Planning 
Commission, nor the recently formed Commission on 
Higher Education, displayed much interest in support- 
ing the College's expansion. In 1961, alter two fruitless 
years of lobbying, during which a governor's aide even 
intimated that St. Mary's "might . . . have to fold in a 
few years anyway," frustrated but resolute school offi- 
cials upped the ante. If state officials were reluctant to 
spend so much money on the Junior College, perhaps 
large expenditures would be more justified for a new 
four-year college in Southern Maryland. Disregarding the 
"go-slow" advice of the Middle States Association, the 
Board of Trustees on 31 August 1961 announced its de- 
termination to "have a four-year college in our section of 
the state" — the only area in Maryland without one. Pres- 
ident Russell's thirty-five-page "Progress Report to the 
Middle States Commission on Institutions of Higher 
Education," dated 1 October 1961, defended the pro- 
posal by emphasizing the rapid growth of St. Mary's 
County and its increasingly critical need for enhanced 
educational opportunities. 

The radical idea that seemed so far-fetched just a 
decade earlier, and that had to be deferred until after 
Junior College accreditation was attained, now received 
united and dedicated support throughout Southern 
Maryland. In July 1961, Board Chairman R. Bascom 
Broun, Jr. , appointed a Legislative Committee from the 
trustee membership, chaired by Mrs. Felix E. Wathen 
Boone. Together, Bascom Broun and Geneva Boone en- 
listed the assistance of influential alumni, ex-Governor 
McKeldin, and State Comptroller Louis L. Goldstein of 
Calvert County. Goldstein hosted a meeting of the en- 
tire Southern Maryland legislative delegation in his 
office on 22 September-a preliminary step to Dr. Rus- 
sell's inspired political maneuver a few weeks later. On 
Friday, 3 November 1961, the president and trustees 
hosted the College's first "Governor's Day," a luncheon- 
conference at which 100 state and county politicians 
came to honor Governor Tawes and to discuss the future 
of St. Mary's. Following a Southern Maryland feast of 
oysters and country ham in the crowded basement din- 
ing room of Calvert Hall, Tawes rose to speak, repor- 
tedly "deeply moved" to be the first chief executive so 
honored by the school. "Possibly the State hasn't done 
as much as it should have done in the past for St. 
Mary's," he said. "There will be some funds forthcom- 
ing, [because] there is a great need today at St. Mary's 
for some unusual help, beyond the ordinary aid it has 



108 




The first "Governor's Day. " Friday, ^ November 1961. 
Left to right on the steps of Calvert Hall are: Board of 
Trustees Chairman R. Bascom Broun, J r . State Comp- 
troller Louis L. Goldstein, Mrs. Helen A. Gibson Taives, 
Governor J. Millard Tawes, and President Russell. 



been receiving." The remarks of the next speaker, 
Comptroller Goldstein, were more specifically commit- 
tal. He declared that "right here on the hallowed and 
sacred ground of St. Mary's we can establish a great 
four-year college," boldly estimating that $5,000,000 
in state funds might be required. "No matter how 
much our educational system costs today, it is worth 
every penny," Goldstein said, convinced that "the 
greatest force in making the American dream come 
true . . . has been free education for the youth of our 
citizenry." Before President Russell presented a set of 
commemorative plates to Mrs. Tawes and costumed stu- 
dents took guests on tours of the historic campus and 
ancient capital. Trustee George L. Radcliffe, a former 
United States Senator and now president of the Mary- 
land Historical Society, offered a toast to the "Spirit of 
St. Marys-let us hope that it will continue throughout 
the ages." 

The successful "Governor's Day" celebration in 1961 
was a turning point in the creation of St. Mary's College 
of Maryland and helped give reality to the sentiments of 
that toast. As had happened so many times before, 
reflections on the memorable past of the Monument 
School again helped pave the way tor an even brighter 
future of distinguished service to the state. After two 



and a half years ot indittcrent support tor the school, the 
Tiwes administration suddenly aUocated $890,000 to 
St. Mary's in the supplemental state budget of January 
1962 (approved by the General Assembly on 6 March) 
for site development on the North Campus and the con- 
struction of a dormitory there. But betore these tunds 
became available in June 1963, there was an equally 
startling revelation: Jeannette Brome Howard, grand- 
daughter of Trustee Brome and widow of Trustee J. 
Spence Howard, offered the College a critical thirty- 
eight-acre tract of land bordering St. John's Pond and 
Route 5 , including almost a tull acre of St. Mary's River 
beachfront. The acquisition ot that strategic parcel in 
July 1963 necessitated the immediate amendment of 
the current funding legislation to permit land putchase, 
site development, and construction on a completely 
new and previously unanticipated "East Campus," lo- 
cated midway between the South and North campuses. 
With the support of Governor Tawes, Comptroller Gold- 
stein, St. Mary's County Delegates Frank A. Combs and 
Henry J. Fowler, and State Senator Walter B. Dorsey, 
the General Assembly wholeheartedly approved this 
crucial change, retroactive to 1 June 1963, thereby per- 
mitting the concentration ot most new construction 
adjoining the original campus instead of at the more 
distant North Campus. 

These key developments in the summer of 1963 sig- 
naled the close and invaluable ties that would exist be- 




The "South Campus, " showing the mini-building boom of 
the early 1930s (Margaret Brent Hall and Anne Arundel 
Hall) and, in the foreground, part of the key Brome- 
Howard lands on which the major building boom of the 
1960s would focus. 



109 



tween St. Mary's and Governor Tawes throughout his 
second term (1962-1966). The governor became in- 
creasingly important to the Junior College at an aus- 
picious time for educational development in Maryland 
and across the nation. Citing "the advancement in pub- 
lic education ... as the greatest single achievement" 
of his administration, Tawes enlarged the University of 
Maryland into the tenth largest in the country, reorga- 
nized the old normal schools into five regional state col- 
leges, and centralized their governance through a single 
board of trustees and the new Advisory Council for 
Higher Education (while leaving the St. Mary's Board 
of Trustees independent as before). At the second 'Gov- 
ernor's Day" in October 1963, Tawes explained that St. 



Mary's "enjoys a singular status . . . [as] the only 
[junior college} operated exclusively by the state, " and 
that he was "solidly behind the efforts that are being 
made here." Tawes's support tor the Junior College was 
as significant as Governor Albert C. Ritchie's had been 
for the Female Seminary forty years earlier, and he will 
always be remembered for signing, on 7 April 1964, 
the legislation that changed the name of the institution 
to the present St, Mary's College of Maryland (effective 
1 June 1964). It must be noted, however, that Governor 
Tawes was ambivalent about whether the "bright fu- 
ture" he envisioned for St. Mary's was as a junior or a 
senior college. 

Not even Tawes's approval of the name change in 



"Thoughts on a College Name" 

Whet2 those in charge of things in 1839-1840 chose to in- 
corporate the name "St. Mary's" into the name of the educa- 
tional institution, they no doubt wished to honor the name 
of the first permanent Maryland settlement much more than 
the Virgin Mary. Yet "St. Mary's" is a possessive noun, and 
it "possesses" all that follows it. "St. Mary's College" to the 
uninitiate can only mean a religiously oriented institution, 
probably under Roman Catholic auspices. It cannot be oth- 
erwise when all four colleges of this name are Roman Cath- 
olic institutions. There are at least an additional sixteen 
colleges . . . that have "St. Mary" or "St. Mary's" as an 
integral part of their names: of these, fifteen are Roman 
Catholic and one is Protestant Episcopal. 

The insertion of the word "State" to firm "St. Mary's 
State College" prevents this misconception. This name is 
unique: it is euphonious. It preserves the "St. Mary's" as a 
link with the past while indicating the true orientation and 
support of the college. 

The objection has been raised that the use of the word 
"State" might in some way cause our college to come under 
the same control as the other colleges ivith "State" as part of 
their name. . . . Our college, it is true, may in the future 
resemble other state-supported colleges more and more closely, 
whatever its name, for working toward similar goals (as 
we shall be doing) may well produce certain likenesses. 
. . . The risks involved here seem overshadowed by the al- 
ternative-a continued, constant, erroneous conviction in the 
public mind that this is a church-related institution. 

-Source: Mimeographed sheet, "Thoughts on a College 
Name," attributed to May Russell in 1963. 



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A new beginning-7 April 1964. Governor Tawes signs 
the legislation that changed the school's name to the pres- 
ent St. Mary's College of Maryland. Witnessing this his- 
toric moment for the institution that has had so many 
different names are alumni representatives, from left to 
right: Mrs. Hal D. Tracy, Alumni President Airs. 
Arthur G. Turner Mrs. Man ley Miller, and Miss Lucy 
F. Spedden '16. President Russell had proposed some 
nafne change in April 1965. but it was the St. Mary's 
alumni who suggested the present name for the College. 



110 



spring 1964 gave official state authorization for St. 
Mary's to become a four-year college, although school 
administrators proceeded with their plans for expansion 
as if it had. As construction commenced on Queen Anne 
Hall, the first building erected on the new East 
Campus, the trustees created a Development Commit- 
tee from their membership that included William 
Aleck Loker of Leonardtown (the chairman); Board 
Chairman Broun; Mrs. Boone of the Legislative Com- 
mittee; Senator Radcliffe; Vice- Admiral Felix Johnson, 
USN (Ret.); Kent R. Mullikin, regional vice president 
of The Equitable Life Assurance Society; and Mrs. Wil- 
liam S. Morsell, Jr., of Baltimore. This committee, 
working closely with President Russell and local politi- 
cians, was instrumental in obtaining an additional 
ninety-three acres of land on the East and North cam- 
puses m the summer of 1965. Whether or not the state 
had given formal approval for elevating St. Mary's to 
senior college status, the public recognized the pro- 
round growth that was transtormmg the old school. A 
20 May 1964 Baltimore Sun article, entitled "St. Mary's 
College- Always Prepared for Change," interpreted the 
evolution of the Monument School to a four-year curric- 
ulum as "still another metamorphosis in its develop- 
ment ... to keep pace with the times." 

The important land acquisitions of 1963 and 1965, 
coming so close together, created a dynamic momen- 
tum that helped make May Russell's dream a reality 
Generous state funding and the availability of key prop- 
erties converged, until the school had bought enough, 
built enough, and grown enough to be seriously consid- 
ered for senior college status. Another $9.^2,000 was 
appropriated for capital improvements in 1965— the 
same year that St. Mary's had male residents for the first 
time in its history (76 in Calvert Hall) and Queen Anne 
Hall opened as a women's dormitory, with all 150 beds 
filled. The resident population in 1965-66 had dou- 
bled in one year, and mushrooming enrollments caused 
impatient trustees to criticize the "foot dragging" of the 
state's construction schedule. Soon, however, new build- 
ings appeared so fast that the Board had little choice 
but to name them after Maryland's twenty-six counties: 
Queen Anne Hall (women's dormitory), 1965; Dorches- 
ter Hall (men's dormitory), 1966; Charles Hall (student 
center and dining room), 1966; Talbot Hall (infirmary), 
1968; Baltimore Hall (library), 1969; Somerset Hall 
(gymnasium), 1969; Prince George's Hall (coed dormi- 
tory), 1970, and Caroline Hall (coed dormitory), 1970. 
The Cobb residence was purchased in July 1969 to serve 
as the President's House, and the Chapman property 
(now the Admissions Office) was procured in August 
1974. These were the last major land acquisitions that 



expanded the St. Mary's campus to its present size. 

What is often overlooked in focusing on the frantic 
pace of expansion and construction during the 1960s is 
that St. Mary's did not receive formal state approval to 
become a senior college until 8 July 1966. Only then 
did the Maryland State Board of Education authorize 
the procedures that would result in the first conferral of 
bachelor's degrees in June 1971. Until that approval was 
granted, neither the support from Governor Tawes and 
Comptroller Goldstein, nor the huge appropriations in 
the mid-1960s, nor the name-change in 1964, officially 
committed Annapolis to anything but a larger junior 
college. The state's cautious strategy helped ensure that 
St. Mary's College of Maryland would be as academ- 
ically prepared for tour-year status as it was physically. 

Although the building boom was the most tangible 
evidence of a maturing institution, school administra- 
tors, trustees, faculty, and students spent long hours in 
the mid-1960s planning new academic programs and 
policies for a senior college. Dr. Jeremiah Finch, dean ol 
the faculty at Princeton University, was appointed as a 



Alumni t^ Newsletter 



FIRST BOARDING MALES ARRIVE AT ST. MARYS 

Yancey Heads Men 




Coed Lite Changes Campus Scene 
76 Men Live In Dorm 



The start of a new era-September 1963. The first male stu- 
dents ei'er to live on the St. Mary's campus take up residence 
in Calvert Hall. 



Ill 




The new Queen Anne Hall {women's dormitory) reflected in 
St. John's Pond. The opening of this residence hall in Sep- 
tember 1963 helped stimulate a major increase in student 
enrollment. 



consultant and made several key recommendations after 
his initial campus visit on 11-13 May 1965. (He was 
later a member of the Academic Council of outside con- 
sultants, along with Dr. Winton Tolles and Dr. J. Ren- 
wick Jackson, Jr., who met in 1968-1969 to discuss 
the new College's educational mission. ) Once the campus 
community had devised academic policies and designed 
the first majors in art, biology, English, history, and 
mathematics, state officials in 1966 were convinced that 
St. Mary's was mature enough to become a baccalaureate 
institution. The St. Mary's faculty was officially in- 
formed ot the State Board of Education's long-sought 
authorization on 28 September 1966; statewide news- 
papers did not report the elevation to senior college sta- 
tus until the summer of 1967 ; and the St. Mary's catalog 
for 1967—68 was the first to announce the new program 
to students. 

It seems incredible that an institution with a high 
school division as late as I960 could become a senior 
college in less than a decade. Doubtless the fine aca- 
demic reputation ot St. Mary's and the timely restruc- 
turing of Maryland's public colleges contributed greatly 
to the creation of the four-year school, but such expla- 
nations will not satisfy the cynics seeking the "real," 
underlying political motivations for change. Dr. Russell 
was personally convinced that her persuasive charm, 
glamorous clothes, and stylish hats (her trademark) had 
bedazzled legislators into granting massive appropria- 
tions to St. Mary's. In a 1986 interview with English 
Professor Andrea Hammer, she explained: "I used to 
buy special hats when I went to Annapolis because I 



knew those guys noticed them. . . . They'd be looking 
at the hats, and I just thought about the buildings. 
When I'd get back to St. Mary's [after a successful bud- 
get hearing], students would be waiting for me, and 
we'd celebrate. They would make me wear a fictitious 
hat. " President Russell all-too-obviously manipulated 
Governor Tawes with the "Governor's Day" celebrations 
in 1961, 1963, and especially in 1965, when the school 
commissioned a portrait of his wife and named Somer- 
set Hall in honor of his home county. But was the Dem- 
ocratic governor really so impressed with this staunchly 
Republican college president as to give her a four-year 
institution out of gratitude.'' An equally cynical counter- 
theory contends that Tawes was a very shrewd politician 
who gave a senior college to Southern Maryland in ex- 
change tor the abolition of slot machines there. (Gam- 
bling was a thorny issue that plagued him from 1963 to 
the end of his term.) Of course, whether or not St. 
Mary's College of Maryland was "built on a bluff" as a 
political payoff has little relevance to the institution of 
today, for however created, the school has certainly 
demonstrated its true educational value to the region 
and state in the years since 1967. 

Final Challenges 

It was sadly ironic that May Russell's triumphant ac- 
complishment of her far-sighted goal for St. Mary's was 
somewhat overshadowed by controversy in her last two 
years as president. Like Moses, she was destined to 
glimpse the "promised land" she had long pursued but 
would not lead the school into its glory days as a senior 
college. The enormous energy required to create that 
institution and its new campus exacted a heavy toll 
from Dr. Russell, and she became a victim of the com- 
plex problems that inevitably accompany such acceler- 
ated growth and change. 

Controversy erupted at St. Mary's in 1967-68, the 
first academic year of operation for the senior College. 
The 4 March 1968 issue of The Point News announced 
that the "Campus Reeks With Discontent- President 
Sued for $3,000,000 & Charged With Unethical Con- 
duct." Actually, as the next issue explained on 16 April, 
three civil suits had been filed seeking multi-million- 
dollar judgments against Dr. Russell and her support- 
ive Board of Trustees, two brought by faculty members 
and one by a former student. Dr. Richard W. Griffin, 
professor of history and president of the Faculty Senate, 
sought $3,000,000 for defamation of character, alleg- 
ing that President Russell had disclosed harmful and 
unsubstantiated rumors about him to his colleagues; ac- 
cused him of giving alcoholic beverages to students; 
and declared him an "insidious influence " with "ulterior 



112 



motives" for giving a faculty seminar on "The American 
Revolution as a Social Movement." Charles K. Henley, 
assistant professor of English, charged in his $1,000, 000 
suit that Dr. Russell had "falsely and maliciously" ac- 
cused him of "smoking pot with students" at Dr. Grit- 
fin's house; publicly characterized him as "a bad influ- 

^ 



Historic St. Mary's City 

Since its creation as the Monument School in 1840, 
St. Mary's College has venerated and popularized 
the site of Maryland's first settlement and seven- 
teenth-century capital. In those 150 years, several 
plans were proposed for preserving or restoring the 
original "Citty of St. Maries," with few results until 
the past two decades. The 1930s produced the pio- 
neering archaeological research of Dr. Henry 
Chandlee Forman (author of Jamestown and St. 
Mary's: Buried Cities of Romance. 19.38) and renewed 
popular interest in the site because of Maryland's 
Tercentenary Celebration. In the early 1950s, the 
St. Mary's County Historical Society, of which May 
Russell was vice-chairman, gave added impetus to 
local restorationists. The radio commentator, Fulton 
Lewis, Jr. , of Hollywood, Maryland, announced in 
his national broadcast on Christmas Eve, 1951, 
"that Old St. Mary's City should be rebuilt, with 
the buildings serving as dormitories, classrooms 
and laboratories for St. Mary's Seminary." Lewis's 
appeal to make the ancient capital a national shrine 
to toleration, funded by all Americans, was restated 
by Maryland Senator Daniel B. Brewster in August 
1963. He introduced a bill (S. 2089) in the 88th 
Congress "to establish the Saint Mary's City Na- 
tional Memorial Commission," which would deter- 
mine the feasibility of operating a restored site by 
the National Park Service. That was the apparent 
catalyst for the Maryland General Assembly in 
1966 to create the present St. Mary's City Commis- 
sion "to preserve, develop, and maintain" the first 
settlement as a state, not a federal, monument. Cer- 
tified as a National Historic Landmark in 1969, the 
revered capital ot the Calverts has assumed new life 
in the last two decades as a significant site for ar- 
chaeological and historical research and interpreta- 
tion. The programs and personnel of this outdoor 
museum provide unique benefits for St. Mary's stu- 
dents, and, like the Seminary, enhance the aesthetic 
and educational value ot this historic region of rural 
beauty. 



ence on students" (because he was divorced); and denied 
him a salary increase "while threaten[ing] . . . further 
reprisal." The civil suit brought by the former student 
alleged that Dr. Russell had summarily expelled her in 
1965 without proper adjudication under the provisions 
of the honor code and charged that the president had 
"falsely and maliciously invaded her privacy by publicly 
stating . . . that she was a 'proven cheat and liar.' 

The filing ot these lawsuits coincided with the 
growing unrest on college campuses across the nation 
following the January 1968 Tet Offensive in the Viet- 
nam War. Although St. Mary's was as yet "non-activist" 
with regard to anti-war demonstrations, the move to se- 
nior college status stimulated both faculty and students 
to demand a greater participation in campus governance 
and institutional development. The Griffin case, in 
particular, involved a struggle tor power and respect 
between the new Faculty Senate and the traditionally 
paternalistic administration of the veteran president 
and Board of Trustees. On 31 January 1968, the Faculty 
Senate circulated a memorandum to the full faculty that 
accused Dr. Russell of duplicity and bad faith, and on 
the same day, the campus chapter of the American As- 
sociation of University Professors (A.A.U.P.) voted 
20-0-2 to request from that national professional orga- 
nization an investigation of administrative practices at 
St. Mary's. President Russell responded on 1 February 
by canceling the next day's meeting with the Faculty 
Senate, "in view of the content of the statement is- 
sued ... on January 31." While the trustees ulti- 
mately admonished Dr. Russell for her handling of 
Griffin's Senate, they were not about to surrender their 
authority over the fragile, young institution that they 
had so carefully nurtured-certainly not to new teachers 
and transient students seeking as radical a goal as self- 
governance. The first priority of the trustees in this crit- 
ical period was to remain independent and strong while 
avoiding public controversy, because officials in Annap- 
olis were still trying to disband the Board and bring St. 
Mary's under the centralized governance ot the other 
state colleges. (Legislation that would have ended the 
traditional independent Board of Trustees was defeated 
by a narrow margin of 21 to 19 in the Maryland Senate 
in early 1969.) 

President Russell's once-amiable relations with staff 
and students suffered in the late 1960s, because she was 
admittedly preoccupied with the expansion ot the 
school's physical plant and had less time to deal effec- 
tively with "people problems" before they mushroomed 
into crises. Like so many other college presidents in this 
era of campus unrest, Dr. Russell had trouble relating 
to the radically different culture of that vocal, some- 



113 






» / i 



•V • 




T/?? end of an era-Commenceinent Day. 8 June 1968-as the last of 39 classes graduates from the Jinnor Col 
the transition from associate to bachelors degrees, St. Mary's held no commencements in 1969 or 197 U. 



. To signal 



times hostile undergraduate generation. In April 1967, 
for example, she summarily suspended a bearded stu- 
dent for "excessive abuse of dress standards" (wearing 
a sweatshirt and cut-off jeans to dinner) and then re- 
suspended him for "insubordination to a member ot the 
administrative staff" after he refused to apologize upon 
his return to campus. In response, a majority of the 400 
students at St. Mary's (70 to 90 percent) boycotted 
classes for two days to protest the president's actions. 
The traditional dress code, which required men to be 
clean-shaven and attired in coat and tie tor most campus 
functions, was liberalized as a result ot this massive pro- 
test. But the central, unresolved issue that aroused most 
students (and even some sympathetic professors) was 
Dr. Russell's seemingly "arbitrary" suspensions without 
adjudication by the Student Senate. 

A year later, during the nation's "revolutionary 
spring" of 1968, student discontent again reached a 
fever pitch. Coinciding with the height of faculty crit- 
icism and the tiling of the lawsuits against President 
Russell, students complained that she disregarded their 
rights, attempted to censor their press, and mistreated 
the most popular teachers. The student staff and faculty 
advisor of The Point News resigned in protest, while the 
Women's Dormitory Council tiled a grievance against 
the dean of women for allegedly stating in public that 



"75 percent of the women in the [Queen Anne} dorm 
were not virgins." Dr. Russell probably would not have 
contested the allegation that she was trying to impose 
the conformist values of the early 1950s on the unruly 
undergraduates of the late 1960s. But the student 
charge of presidential authoritarianism became a self- 
fultilling prophecy, as she seemed to grow ever more 
defensive, and even punitive, in reacting to criticism. 
In 1968, President Russell summoned the state police 
to disperse a crowd ot student protesters and threatened 
prosecution under a new Maryland law that called for 
$1,000 tines and/or six months in jail tor trespassing in 
college administration buildings. Convinced that un- 
dergraduates were too immature to regulate their own 
affairs, the president took a tirm stand against "a very 
few {students] trying to run things, [which] they can- 
not do." Nearly twenty years later. Dr. Russell recalled 
this period of strained relations with students by ob- 
serving that "my generation was told what to do and 
they did it. I suppose we were brought up ditferently. 
We dated back to a ditferent era." 

Considering how far St. Mary's College had come 
and the direction in which American undergraduates 
were going, it was not surprising that Dr. Russell an- 
nounced in December 1968 that she would resign her 
presidency, effective 30 June 1969- Although she re- 



114 



tained the allegiance and loyal friendship ot the "old 
guard" trustees, several Board members doubted her 
ability to administer the new senior college following 
the many controversies of 1967 and 1968. It had been a 
rough beginning, and the trustees sought fresh leader- 
ship for an infant institution in changing times. In an- 
nouncing her retirement. May Russell stated that "I am 
resigning because I have always felt that at such time as 
the number of men and women on campus became 
equal, the college should have a man president. St. 
Mary's is larger now and the presidency is a job which en- 
tails tremendous responsibility. I may be old-fashioned, 
but I think it should be coped with by a man. I'll miss 
St. Mary's, there's no question about that. But my way 
of life is looking to the future and planning for the fu- 
ture, and I never look back." 

The Board of Trustees sponsored a day of tribute to 
President Russell on 24 May 1969, in recognition of her 
dedicated, successful service to the old school and the 
new college. Since there would be no commencement 
exercises between the granting of the last associate of 



arts degrees in 1968 and the first granting of bachelor of 
arts degrees in 1971, this festive day of tribute was the 
major campus event in Spring 1969. Board Chairman 
Loker, the other trustees, alumni, and legions of faith- 
ful friends from throughout Southern Maryland gathered 
to honor President Russell in Baltimore Hall, the new- 
est of "her" buildings. The guest speaker was Dr. 
Jeremiah S. Finch of Princeton University, a member of 
the Academic Council of educational experts that had 
worked so closely with the retiring president in de- 
veloping a four-year curriculum. Gifts were presented 
to Dr. Russell from the Board of Trustees and the 
Alumni Association, and her formal portrait, painted 
by Peter Egeli, was unveiled on that occasion. An "En- 
comium" that was published in the program for this 
day of tribute described President Russell as a "new 
founder" in the best tradition of her Maryland forebears 
and praised her tireless efforts on behalf of St. Mary's 
College- "a beautiful, graceful monument to the past," 
which now, more than ever, found "its meaning and 
fulfillment . . . in the present and future." 



c^^i!:) 



A Tribute to May Russell 

My first meeting with May Russell was by telephone. The 
connection wasn't very good, but that didn't matter, because 
the power of her enthusiasm, the strength of her character, 
and the ivarmth of her heart came through— and the connec- 
tion has been getting better ever since. 

My acquaintance with May really began after my first 
day here, sitting on her porch and listening to her describe 
the College. . . . And I remember that as I listened, look- 
ing out at the fading sunlight over the river. May Russell's 
warmth, strength, and enthusiasm began to blend with the 
idea of the college she ivas committed to bring to reality. 

Now that so much has happened, so many struggles car- 
ried on, so much accomplished, and now May is leaving the 
place her dreams helped to shape, I confess to a certain sad- 
ness. No- it is not sadness that she is leaving, for as an old 
hand in the education business I believe that there comes a 
point in the lives of persons, and of institutions, when 
change is good-for the person who has led it. and for the 
institution itself. . . . Colleges, I've observed, have a life 
of their oivn. No matter ivhat the changes, controversies, the 
developments, a college is larger than any single person or 
group within it; it transcends all the internal to-and-fro; 
and as the years go on, it retains its character The lasting 



influences are those of its people who have worked most con- 
structively for its best interest- Mark Hopkins at Williams, 
Woodrow Wilson at Princeton, Oilman at Johns Hopkins, 
and— someday they will say here— May Russell at St. 

Mary's. 

-Source: Speech by Dr. Jeremiah S. Finch, Princeton Uni- 
versity, at the tribute to May Russell, 24 May 1969, as printed 
in the Alumni Neusletter (¥i\\ 1969), 4, 12. 




Baltimore Hall (the Library )- the last academic build- 
ing that May Russell built and site of the day of trib- 
ute to her-as it appeared when new in 1969. An in- 
dication of the pace of change at St. Mary's is the fact 
that the school outgrew this modern facility in only two 
decades. 



115 



The Legacy of May Russell 

Dr. Russell's departure ended the 120-year tradition of 
Maryland-born female chief executives at St. Mary's, 
but her dynamic, progressive leadership in moderniz- 
ing both the campus and the curriculum established a 
new tradition that continues to invigorate the College 
to this day. Her legacy is truly set in stone, as the build- 
ings she envisioned and erected will constitute the core 
of this campus for decades to come. When she began 
her presidency in 1948, St. Mary's was a combined high 
school and Junior College with seventy-three female 
students, five buildings on an eight-acre campus, a fac- 
ulty and staff of sixteen, and an annual operating bud- 
get of $66,841. When she ended her presidency in 
1969, St. Mary's was a tour-year college with a coeduca- 
tional enrollment of 630 (in which men outnumbered 
women), seventeen buildings on a 285-acre campus, 
forty-nine instructors and administrators, and an an- 
nual operating budget of $.1,223,768. 

In her twenty-one years as president. May Russell 
nurtured the strengths of Adele France's Junior College 
and vastly expanded the educational benefits of St. 





May Russell's legacy to St. Mary's— a dozen modern build- 
ings on a vastly expanded campus. 



Dr Anna May Russell (2 October 1914-11 April 1988). 
"The Builder. " B.S. , LL.D. . Western Maryland College. 
ALA.. Teachers College, Columbia Unii'ersity. President of 
St. Mary's Seminary Junior College. 1948—1964, and first 
president of St. Mary's College of Maryland, 1964-1969. 
Portrait by Peter Egeli of Dray den, Maryland, 1969- 

Mary's to future generations of students. The campus 
that she had enlarged by 4,000 percent and the many 
buildings she had constructed at a cost of some $8 
million proved indispensable in addressing the needs of 
a growing collegiate population in Maryland. Enroll- 
ments in 1969 were 850 percent higher than they were 
in 1948 and had increased by 37 percent in only two 
years. In addition to offering students an educational 
alternative to large universities. May Russell increased 
the visibility of, and respect for, the office of president 
at St. Mary's, due to her work with the Maryland 
Higher Education Association (president), Maryland 
Association of County Boards of Education (secretary), 
American Association of Junior Colleges (chair. Com- 
mission on Student Personnel), Junior College Council 
of the Middle Atlantic States (executive board member), 
Maryland Commission for the 1964-65 New York 
World's Fair, Southern Regional Education Board, St. 
Mary's County Board of Education, and St. Mary's 
County Historical Society. Finally, President Russell 
left to her successors the seeds of a significant, indepen- 
dent endowment and an enthusiastic desire among state 



116 



officials to support her fiedgling College-a refurbished 
Monument School with a new mission- for countless 
thousands of future students. 

Dr. Anna May Russell, pioneering president of the 
venerable Seminary, of the resilient Junior College, and 
of the infant St. Mary's College of Maryland, retired to 
Newport Beach, California. In 1972, she made a brief 
visit to campus to deliver the commencement address 
and to be inducted into the Order of the Ark and Dove. 
On 6 October 1984 (Homecoming), she returned again 
for "May Russell Day, " at which she received an honor- 
ary doctorate of humane letters— appropriately, the first 



woman to be awarded an honorary degree from St. 
Mary's College. May Russell paid her final visit to the 
county of her birth and the land of her dreams on 14 
April 1988, the day she was buried at Christ Episcopal 
Church in Chaptico. 

The Changing of the Guard 

In March 1969, the Board of Trustees unanimously 
selected Dr. J(ames) Renwick Jackson, Jr., as May Rus- 
sell's successor from a field of more than sixty appli- 
cants. Dr. Jackson was already well known to the 
trustees for his service on the Academic Ct)uncil of ad- 



^^^ 



The Philosophy of Gentle Ren, 1968-69 



Self-righteous adolescents are defining themselves over 
against adults— this is normal. This is the least attractive 
and most dysfunctional feature of the student movement. 
There is a new culture coming which we do not under- 
stand. . . . One of Its features is a protest of the fractured 
nature of the university itself . . . and calls for the whole 
man to be thought of. It is the affirmation of the fksh- 
physical expression and fulfillment. The students are saying 
that it is not an illicit or rebellious thing, but it is a positive 
thing, for a man and woman to love each other aside from 
the marriage contract. The sharpest criticism is against 
those persons who verbalize, but do not live by. their ideals. 





^ 



> 



N 



President J. Renwick Jackson. Jr. . in his tradenuirk com- 
mencement attire. His personal charm and rhetorical tal- 
ents made him a charismatic leader who began to make a 
name for St. Mary's beyond the borders of Maryland. 



American society has moved beyond representative 
democracy to participatory democracy. . . . If you are com- 
mitted to a democratic process, then you must really be com- 
mitted to it. {St. Mary's needs to) give your best minds to 
the development of a new model which would express par- 
ticipatory democracy, discovering what the appropriate roles 
are for each group. We need a community where there is a 
mutuality in dealing with the functions appropriate to a 
college. 

The course that an individual ivould follow from the 
time he enters college until he leaves it— everything that is a 
part of his college experience— is the curriculum. . . . {It 
should be} a constellation of persons, resources, materials, 
times, places, and events. . . . The goals of higher educa- 
tion are achieved more fully if students are able to be respon- 
sible for their own education. 

The incredible energy which students have needs to be 
channeled constructively. "Freedom is the oxygen of love and 
truth and learning. " We have to find ways . . . for the 
constructive outlet of student concern. 

Most places are so rigid you can u vrk tu 'enty years and 
not effect much. Here {at St. Mary's} you have an opportu- 
nity and unformed potential. . . . There is a growth sit- 
uation before you in a beautiful setting with excellent facili- 
ties. This is an exciting place to be. I hope you will create 
something that will offer experience, models, and data 
needed to build the new kinds of higher education. 

-Source: Transcribed comments of Dr. J. Renwick Jackson, 
Jr. , at the Council on Academic Development, 4-6 September 

1968, 8, 12, and 13 January 1969, 11-12. 



117 



visors in 1968—1969, and this forty-year-old Pres- 
byterian minister brought vast and varied experience to 
the office of president. Alter earning a bachelor of arts 
and a doctor of divinity degree from Westminster Col- 
lege in Pennsylvania, a B.D. from Princeton Theo- 
logical Seminary, and a Ph.D. in history from the 
University of Edinburgh, Dr. Jackson had worked for 
Newsweek magazine, had been a pastor at several 
churches, and had taught history, philosophy, and 
religious studies from New York to Hawaii. His admin- 
istrative experience was gained as dean of students at 
York College, of the City College of New York; as presi- 
dent of the Ecumenical Foundation for Higher Edu- 
cation in Metropolitan New York; and as associate 
director of national program development for the Na- 
tional Conference of Christians and Jews. 

Dr. Jackson's eclectic interests and boundless energy 
shaped an ambitious presidential agenda. This former 
peace protester, cosmopolitan academic, and educa- 
tional visionary was determined to make May Russell's 
new campus reverberate with the excitement of intel- 
lectual vitality. Committed to the liberal principles of 
social justice in an age of activism. President Jackson 
had, by his own admission, "looked all over the country 
for a place that was politically ripe" before accepting the 
post at St. Mary's. Inheriting a respectable, albeit 
conventional, curriculum and a modern physical plant 
from his predecessor, Dr. Jackson was able to focus his 
energies on educational experimentation and to trans- 
form the school into his vision of it as "a poor man's 
Swarthmore." 

As President Jackson assumed his duties in Septem- 
ber 1969, there was a noticeable changing of the guard 
and a transition to a new era in the history of St. Mary's 
College. He was the school's first male president and the 
only man since Mr. Meany in 1846 to be its chief ex- 
ecutive. Dr. Jackson's high starting salary of $22,500 
partially reflected the fact that he was also the first pres- 
ident in the school's history to bring a growing family 
onto the campus. He and his wife, Elizabeth Knox 
Jackson, and their four young children were the first 
"first family" to occupy the recently-acquired Presi- 
dent's House. (The Alumni Lodge, which had served as 
the presidential residence for twenty-one years, again 
became the campus guest house.) There were also 
changes on the Board ot Trustees, as Trustees Broun, 
Radcliffe, and Mullikin followed President Russell into 
retirement, after serving twenty-eight, twenty-one, 
and fourteen years, respectively. Mrs. William S. Mor- 
sell, Jr., was reappointed to a six-year term, and three 
new trustees- Frank J. Barley of California, Judge 
Philip H. Dorsey of Leonardtown, and Dr. Merriam H. 



Trytten of Silver Spring— joined the Board at the begin- 
ning of President Jackson's tenure. 

As the first male and first non-Marylander in an of- 
fice that had had only three chief executives in the last 
sixty-nine years. President Jackson faced the challenge 
of quickly introducing change to an institution that was 
already experiencing the disruptiveness of lost con- 
tinuity. Not since the mid-nineteenth century had St. 
Mary's embarked on a new mission with a new curricu- 
lum and a new chief executive all at once. Adele France's 
Junior College had succeeded because of the stability of 
the traditional Seminary high school, and May Russell 
built St. Mary's College of Maryland on the solid foun- 
dations of the Junior College. Now, however, there were 
no other divisions to fall back on, and the past reputa- 
tion and long history of the Seminary could not ensure 
the viability of the senior College. In trying to preserve 
some continuity with school traditions while promoting 
large-scale innovations, Dr. Jackson pledged "to con- 
serve the authentic values ot the past, to be relevant to 
the crises of the present, and to pioneer the new higher 
learning of the future." 

Nothing illustrated the problems that were inher- 
ent in the new institution better than Dr. Jackson's pres- 




THC STATE 

MtMOfllAL ESTABLISHED BY AC^ 
THE LES/SLATyRCOP 1839 AS A' 
LIVIHC MONOMENT TO MARK THE 
BIRTHPLACE OF-mS STATE AND OP 
RELISWtlS LIBERTY 




The "St. Mary's Female Seininary" road-marker, which still 
stands at the entrance to the old campus, took on a signifi- 
cance in the transition years of the late ]96()s and early 
1970s. The new College had a bright j/it/ire hut was still 
immature, retaining many programs and policies from the 
Junior College era. (Cartoon from the Alumni Newsletter, 
Fall 1968. ) 



idential inauguration during a weekend of festivities on 
3-4 October 1970. The inauguration ceremony-the 
first in school history- had been postponed one year, 
due to more pressing concerns and the inductee's pre- 
deliction for perfection in hosting public events of this 
type. Student pageants would not do for this occasion, 
and President Jackson emphasized his ties to elite schol- 
arly circles by mviting eminent historians to deliver the 
major addresses of the weekend. Two Harvard Ph.D.s- 
Wiicomb E. Washburn, of the Smithsonian Institution, 
and Robert D. Cross, president of Swarthmore College- 
delivered speeches on the future of liberal arts education 
and received honorary degrees from an institution that 
had yet to grant its first B. A. Although the presence of 
such academic "nobility" brought credibility to both 
the new president and the new College, there was much 
campus criticism about the cost, timing, and prac- 
ticality of the inauguration ceremonies. Anticipating 
some of the difficulties that lay ahead for Dr. Jackson, 
criticism focused on his apparent emphasis ot style over 
substance and of idealism over pragmatism. Faculty 
members, who had refused to wear academic regalia for 
the inauguration, feared the emergence of an "imperial 
presidency" at St. Mary's-a term then current in de- 
scribing Richard M. Nixon. Dr. Jackson defended the 
inauguration as "a splendid communal event that can 
unite the college community in a fresh determination to 
develop the potentialities of this place." 

Growing Pains 

President Jackson's rhetoric truly reflected the kind of 
rare optimism that had motivated the early Maryland 
colonists to grasp opportunity in a frontier of chaos at 
seventeenth-century St. Mary's City. Chaos was back at 
the old capital city, as the new College faced serious 
problems that would sorely test the president's optim- 
ism. In September 1969, sixteen new faculty members 
still did not have approved contracts, several key ad- 
ministrative positions remained unfilled, and the Col- 
lege had not yet received furniture for twenty-nine 
offices. This school in transition did not award degrees 
or issue catalogs in either 1969 or 1970, and students 
had to consult the campus newspaper to learn of the 
most recent decisions on graduation requirements- 
many of them retroactive. Only two years away from 
granting its first B.A. degrees, St. Mary's continued to 
offer secretarial science courses that Adele France had 
instituted, and the home economics room in Anne 
Arundel Hall would not be renovated into the present 
physics laboratory until 1971. The library was 75,000 
volumes under minimum standards, and many stu- 
dents, who were now paying $1,200 per year for tui- 



tion, room, and board, wondered if they were getting 
their money's worth. The lack of adequate facilities was 
exacerbated by a tripling of the enrollment between 
1968 and 1971. Freshmen outnumbered seniors by 500 
percent, classes were grossly overcrowded with up to 
200 students, and the many young, first-time faculty 
members faced enormous problems of adjustment. But 
the upperclassmen had the greatest concerns, because 
they would receive bachelor's degrees before St. Mary's 
achieved final accreditation as a four-year institution. 
Considering this chaos, it was not surprising that stu- 
dent attrition skyrocketed; of the 217 freshmen who 
matriculated in September 1967, 79 percent would not 
graduate in 1971. 

Students did not hesitate to voice their complaints 
and challenges to the new administration-to a degree 
unthinkable in May Russell's day. There was some re- 
sidual discontent from the former president's last two 
years, which now merged with the growing radicalism 
of Vietnam protest that reached St. Mary's following the 
Kent State Massacre in May 1970. But most of the stu- 
dent discontent grew out of the disruptive campus envi- 
ronment, and impatient critics demanded the beneficial 
results of change, instead of just the rhetoric of change. 
Feeling victimized by an administration that repre- 
sented too much authority and not enough direction, 
and outraged by issues ranging from international racist 
conspiracies to the high cost of dormitory washing ma- 
chines, a vocal minority of St. Mary's students presented 
the first challenges to President Jackson during the 
spring and fall semesters of 1970. The Point News ac- 
cused the president-whom it called "The Messiah"-of 
forcing students "to conform to his way of educational 
thinking. " The student press circulated information on 
drugs, drug busts, anti-war protests, and civil rights 
issues, and distributed a three-page mimeographed es- 
say called "The Student as Nigger." In Fall 1970, the 
first of a growing number of underground newspapers 
appeared, satirizing the president. Coinciding with a 
campus strike by work-study students in the library, 
the state's rejection of supplemental funds for the Col- 
lege, and persistent rumors of alleged mismanagement 
in the business office. The Clam listed fictional Jackson 
budget requests for: "A white charger ... to ride at 
official ceremonies," "Publishing the first 152 volumes 
(Infancy) of {his] autobiography," and "50 '1 Like Gentle 
Ren' buttons." In an accompanying lexicon of Jackson 
catch-phrases, the underground student editor defined 
"partnership" as "a vision of all sectors of the College 
cooperating like a horse and rider, with the College 
President being symbolized by the rider," and "par- 
ticipatory democracy" as "a form of government in 



119 




which everyone is given the right to agree with all offi- 
cial policy." 

Despite or because of the sometimes savage attacks 
by students who doubted the sincerity of his motives, 
Dr. Jackson did attempt to address many of their con- 
cerns during the energetic and enthusiastic early days of 
his presidency. St. Mary's enrolled only nine full-time 
black students in 1969-70 (up from one the year be- 
fore), and Jackson made widespread racial integration a 
top priority. Consistent with his beliefs in the "mutu- 
ality" of decision-makmg, he appointed an All College 
Council and Long-Range Planning Committee com- 



Thc I'oiiil defiance of student activists and the genial apathy 
of nonconformist "flower children" were the two extremes rep- 
resented in the St. Marys undergraduate population of the 
early 1970s. National collegiate trends in these turbulent 
times exacerbated St. Mary's difficult transition into a ma- 
ture senior college. 



120 



posed of faculty, students, and administrators. His 
commitment to off-campus and hands-on learning op- 
portunities was expressed in plans to develop College 
programs in cooperation with the St. Mary's City Com- 
mission (historical archaeology), the Smithsonian In- 
stitution (history), and the Harry Lundeberg School of 
Seamanship (marine biology). Although administrative 
practices did not always correspond to stated principles. 
President Jackson in fact liberalized the strict and dated 
student regulations by terminating dormitory curfews, 
permitting the consumption of alcoholic beverages by 
those of legal age, allowing students to reside off 
campus, and initiating a college-wide referendum on 
other problems. The president and trustees also insti- 
tuted a Student Bill of Rights, which stated that "the 
college does not stand in loco parentis tor its members; 
that the rights of the individual and the institution are 
guaranteed; that members of the campus have the same 
rights and responsibilities as all citizens; that the 
campus is not seen as a sanctuary from the general law; 
and that persons have the right to be heard and consid- 
ered at appropriate levels of decision making." 

The faculty and the administration also addressed 
the curricular confusion that had provoked many stu- 



dents to transfer in disgust during the critical years ot 
institutional transition. In the 197 1-72 academic year, 
social science became the College's sixth major (joining 
art, biology, English, history, and mathematics) and 
quickly emerged as one ot the most popular. This gave 
more balance to the course offerings, which were 
grouped— then and now— in innovative, integrative, and 
interdisciplinary "divisions," rather than in traditional 
and disjointed departments. Designed to give students 
a coherent and multi-disciplinary view of humankind's 
physical, social, and artistic "environments," these divi- 
sions were Natural Science and Mathematics (majors in 
biology and mathematics), Social Science (majors in his- 
tory and social science), and Humanities (majors in art 
and English). In 197 1-72, the tourth and tinal division 
was added-the forerunner of the present Division ot 
Human Development. Called simply "Division Four" 
when created, this new division was designed to inte- 
grate "all aspects of campus life having to do with the 
generation of a living-learning environment which is 
open, creative, and developmental in character." 

The early seventies proved to be an exciting period 
of educational experimentation and curricular flexibil- 
ity, as St. Mary's partly anticipated and partly responded 







Partner trustees — (from left) Kent R. Miillikin, Adm. Felix Johnson, Sen. George Radcliffe, William Aleck Loker, and 
R. Bascom Broun. Jr — discuss campus expansion with President Jackson in the early 1970s. 



121 



to the student demands being heard across the nation. 
President Jackson and the College faculty promoted 
curricular flexibility by instituting Independent Study 
tutorials, designing a new three-week Winter Term of 
special topic seminars in January 1971, and encourag- 
ing a high percentage of experimental classes-almost 
one-fifth of all courses offered in the 1971-72 school 
year. At the same time, traditional grading standards 
were relaxed in an effort to focus students more on the 
joy of learning than on the pressures of numerical rank- 
ings. Under the new system of the early 1970s, only A, 
B, C, and "Credit" grades were recorded on official 
transcripts, and no quality point averages were com- 
puted. St. Mary's students were permitted to elect a 
Credit-No Credit option for one course per semester, 
and they could drop classes at any time during a semes- 
ter without incurring grade penalties. 

The Light At the End of the Tunnel 

These and other changes during the 197 1-72 academic 

year showed that the presidency of Renwick Jackson had 



emerged from its turbulent beginnings. The difficult 
transition to a baccalaureate institution had been ac- 
complished, and the College finally had the essential 
programs and policies in place to assure its stability— at 
least temporarily. By the end of 1972 — the high-water 
mark of the Jackson presidency-St. Mary's College of 
Maryland would achieve a significant level of institu- 
tional maturity for the first time. 

One critical test of the stability and maturity of the 
new College was how successful it would be in produc- 
ing graduates, not merely in attracting students. On 
Saturday, 29 May 1971, St. Mary's College of Maryland 
awarded its first baccalaureate degrees-thirty-five bach- 
elor of arts and thirteen bachelor of science diplomas- 
and began a new, and continuing, tradition of May com- 
mencements. The ceremony was held on State House 
Green, and William V. Shannon of The New York Times 
was the commencement speaker. Although the small 
number of graduates revealed the high rates of student 
attrition that had resulted from the disruptive years of 
transition, the very fact that commencement was held 



LEGEM) 

1. CaNert Hall -Classrooms and Faculty Offices 

2. St Mary's ftell- Auditorium 

3. Kent Hall -Classrooms and Faculty Offices 

4. Mumni Cottage and Guest House 

5. BoattKxne 

6. CoilegeDock 

7. Laboratory 

8. Trinity Episcopal Church 
9 Restored State House 

10. Anne Arundel Hall -Classroomsand Faculty Offices 

11. Margaret Brent Hall -Administrative Services 
\l TrinttyRedory 
13. Trimly Parish Hall 



St. Mary's River 



14. FacuftyHowe 

15. St-Mary'sCilyPostOffice 

16. Freedom of Conscience Monument 

17. Charles Hall -Student Union 

18. Baltimore Hall- Ubtwy 

19. Queen Aime Hall -Wcmert'jftesidenoe 

20. President's Residence 

21. Talbot^B- Health Center 

22. DorchesterHall- Men's Residience 

23. Prince George Hall - Men's Residence ^ 

24. Caroline Hall -Women's Residence // 

25. Somerset Hall -Gymnasium 

26. Maintenance Building .^f//, ^ 




CAMPUS MAP 
^/ ST. MARY'S COLLEGE OF MARYLAN 



North Field 








The St. Mary's campus in 1972. 



122 



on the earliest date in St. Mary's history signaled better 
relations between the administration and student body. 
During the previous fall, the graduating class had re- 
quested that commencement be held in May instead of 
the scheduled date in June, and the president and 
trustees agreed to accommodate the seniors, even 
though classes would still be in session. The rapid de- 
velopment of the College was reflected in its second 
commencement, held on Saturday, 21 May 1972. The 
graduating class was twice as large as the year before, 
with 102 students receiving their degrees (79 B. A. and 
23 B.S.)— a proud moment witnessed by Dr. May Rus- 
sell, the commencement speaker. 

Nineteen-seventy-one and 1972 were banner years 
tor St. Mary's in many other ways as well. The College's 
comprehensive, ten-year Master Plan, which would re- 
ceive the unanimous approval of the Maryland Council 
for Higher Education on 1 March 1974, finally emerged 
in 1972 after years of deliberations by all segments of 
the campus community. The Master Plan represented 
continuity with the most sacred traditions of the Semi- 
nary and Junior College, in proposing that St. Mary's 
always remain a small and affordable liberal arts col- 
lege-an educational alternative to both large univer- 
sities and expensive private schools. Since excellent 
teaching was central to the "mission" of St. Mary's un- 
der the Master Plan, school officials sought to ensure 
career-long professorial productivity, vitality, and dedi- 
cation by abolishing faculty tenure on 1 July 1971. Ac- 
cording to the Washington Post. St. Mary's was "the 
nation's only college to do so successfully." Professors 
who had achieved tenure, here or elsewhere, before 
1971 could keep it, but for increasing numbers of fac- 
ulty members at St. Mary's, tenure was replaced by a 
contract system, which is still in operation today. Under 
the contract system, instructors received a two-year, 
then a three-year, and then a series of five-year teaching 
contracts, pending satisfactory performance as judged 
by divisional promotion and retention committees, a 
College-wide review committee, the dean/provost, the 
president, and the Board of Trustees. Yet another key 
development that would help make the Master Plan a 
reality was the creation in 1972 of the St. Mary's College 
of Maryland Foundation, Inc. With roots in the nine- 
teenth-century attempts to begin a private endowment 
for the Seminary, "The Foundation" finally became a re- 
ality after State Senator J. Frank Raley, Jr. , (a College 
trustee since 1966) sponsored legislation in the General 
Assembly that would permit such an organization at a 
public college. Pledged to "enhance, improve, and 
develop ... St. Mary's College of Maryland and to 
benefit that institution, its students and faculty," this 



C^ ^ ^^ 



The Mulberry Tree Papers 

In the spring of 1972, President J. Renwick Jack- 
son, Jr., inaugurated the publication of The Mul- 
berry Tree Papers and even served as its first editor. 
Lieutenant-Governor Blair Lee III introduced the 
inaugural issue by writing: "These papers serve as 
reassuring evidence that St. Mary's will continue 
along the path of a liberal arts college, limited in 
size but unlimited in her striving for excellence. 
... 1 hope that The Mulberry Tree Papers will flour- 
ish for many years to come, providing both en- 
lightenment for its readers and continuing proof of 
the vitality of the spirit of St. Mary's." 

This publication, named by the historically- 
minded Jackson for the famous old tree that was a 
landmark to the first colonists at St. Mary's City, has 
indeed fulfilled the high expectations that the presi- 
dent and the lieutenant-governor had for it. Under 
editor Gordon Kester (1977-1986), The Mulberry 
Tree Papers won four citations for achievement in col- 
legiate publications from the Council for Advance- 
ment and Support of Education. In 1978, the maga- 
zine was the national Grand Award winner in the 
Publications Improvement category. The January 
1990 "Sesquicentennial Issue" was the largest and 
most lavish issue to date, as The Mulberry Tree Papers 
approaches its twentieth anniversary still keeping 
the staff, students, alumni, and friends of St. Mary's 
apprised of history in the making. 



independent, non-profit corporation has greatly facili- 
tated the donation and distribution of private funds in 
support of College programs. 

Although those developments were essential to the 
maturation of St. Mary's College, they would have 
mattered little if accreditation had not been attained. 
The Commission on Higher Education of the Middle 
States Association of Colleges and Universities granted 
the first accreditation to the senior College in 1972. 
However, the accreditation was merely provisional and 
valid for only two years, because the visiting evaluators 
were disturbed by the discrepancies they found between 
the plans and the performance of the College's admin- 
istration. After a thorough review of the ninety-page 
"Institutional Self-Study" and on-site inspection be- 
tween 13-17 March 1972, the Middle States team re- 
ported "a situation in which the only constant is change 
itself" The "lack of direction and the constant shifting 



123 




Trustee J. Frank Raley, Jr , one of the last of May Russell's 
trustees (appointed in 1967 } who is still on the Board in 
1990. "J. Frank, " a St. Mary's Count tan with family ties 
to the nineteenth-century Female Seminary, continues the 
tradition of dedicated service to the school by local citizens. 
As a state senator in the mid-1960s, he sponsored the bill to 
change the name to St. Marys College of Maryland and 
helped to generate larger budgets for the school and to pre- 
serve its independent Board of Trustees. 



of emphases and priorities," wrote the evaluators, "ap- 
pear to be underlying causes for the widespread dissatis- 
faction among students and faculty and are, no doubt, 
contributory factors in the high turnover rate of faculty 
and the high attrition rate of students." They further 
observed that mere "enthusiasm" for "an exciting in- 
tellectual experience" counted tor little unless it was 
tempered by patience and supported by consistent ad- 
ministrative follow-through. In their final report, the 
Middle States evaluators wrote that "the differences be- 
tween the professed philosophy of administration and 
certain administrative actions has caused considerable 
controversy on the campus, resulting in a lack ot faith 
and trust. . . . The President professes the principle of 
collegiality and tries to maintain a low profile to guide 
unobtrusively, but when decisions are made or actions 
taken by him, the authority of the office is challenged." 

Swinging Pendulum, Swinging Doors 
Probably both the College and President Jackson de- 
served better evaluations from the Middle States Asso- 
ciation in 1972. Much that was significant and relevant 



to the future had been accomplished in a few short years 
at a school still experiencing growing pains. Dr. Jack- 
son had fashioned St. Mary's into a distinctive institu- 
tion, with change and innovation as the source of its 
energy. The symbolic pendulum had swung far to the 
left, at some distance from the conformist center of the 
academic world. The youthfulness of the institution 
had allowed such radical experimentation, while in 
many ways the youths of the time demanded it. 
Change, often disruptive, would continue to rule at St. 
Mary's, but in a different direction. As invariably as the 
pendulum swings back, toward the center and the 
right, so, too, do educational experiments adjust to the 
national mood and changing times. Unfortunately for 
all too many committed faculty members at the Col- 
lege, the swinging pendulum that was the institutional 
mission suddenly switched direction, moving from left 
to right, from idealism to pragmatism after 1972, and 
pushed them through the swinging doors of terminated 
employment. 

After the high-water mark of 1972, all hell broke 
loose at St. Mary's. Almost constant controversy rever- 
berated on campus between 1973 and 1977, and there 




Mrs. William S. (Aurine) Morsell, Jr. , member of the 
Board of Trustees from 1960-1982 and a Foundation 
board member since 1972. 



124 



were so many separate challenges to administrative de- 
cisions that they became a seamless tapestry ot crisis and 
confusion. Most of the conflicts were precipitated by 
unpopular personnel decisions and all involved the ero- 
sion of campus confidence in the beliefs and behavior of 
the president. Looking back at that era in a February 
1982 article in the Empath. students Barbara Shaeffer 
and Gretchen Sorensen wrote that "from 1972 to 1974, 
President Jackson attempted to alleviate some of the 
problems caused by the supposed excess of freedom at 
St. Mary's. Apparently, the progressive faculty Jackson 
had hired, described as a 'really freaky crew' by Empath 
editor Pat Elder, had gotten out of hand. " Dr. Richard 
Stark, professor of mathematics and president of the 
Faculty Senate in the mid-1970s, likewise observed that 
Jackson "really brought in a group of radicals and lib- 
erals who wanted to remodel education. I think he went 
too far in his first attempt to establish a progressive 
school, and . . . [then went] too far in trying to get rid 
of all the progressives." 

In Dr. Jackson's own view of those years, published 
in Jim Brady's Washington Post interview with him on 2 I 
July 1982, he observed that the first phase of his presi- 
dency, through 1972, "were wonderful days of people 
doing their own things brilliantly." However, his inno- 
vations took on a dangerous momentum: "[I] had to dis- 
suade a group of students from designing a class around 
a pregnant student who wanted to give birth in her dor- 
mitory. Then, in 1972, an advertisement appeared in 
Rolling Stone [the rock music magazine} offering a teach- 
ing job at St. Mary's. 'No degree necessary,' it read, 'just 
experience with The Movement.' That's when the gov- 
ernor called me in." Forced to abandon his early, pre- 
ferred roles as "'an enabler, a recruiter, a nurturer,' " he 
recalled becoming a more authoritative-his enemies 
claimed "authoritarian"-chief executive after 1972, 
which helped precipitate the many conflicts and contro- 
versies that followed. Because he had brought success 
and momentum to the young College in transition de- 
spite his critics, this man of the pulpit was more in- 
clined to trust his own instincts and to inflict righteous 
wrath on those who did not share the certitude of his 
visions. 

The preconditions for the confrontations of the 
mid-1970s extended back to May Russell's presidency, 
for although the college had avoided legal liability in 
the civil suits of 1968, issues involving faculty rights, 
responsibilities, and job security remained largely unre- 
solved five years later. The tensions between the admin- 
istration and the faculty were exacerbated by the rapid 
growth of the instructional staff and the equally dra- 
matic rates of attrition during President Jackson's first 



few years. The faculty grew from thirty-six in 1969—70 
(average age: thirty-five) to fifty-two in 1971-72, but 
to obtain that net increase of sixteen teachers, a total of 
forty-two instructors had to be hired between September 
1969 and September 197 1 to replace the twenty-six who 
departed. In January 1972, twenty of the fifty-two pro- 
fessors were in their first teaching jobs, and the entire 
faculty had a mean length of service at the College of 
only 3.2 years. St. Mary's benefited from an academic 

^ 



Campus Drug Bust, 1973 

June 14. 1973 
Dear Friends of St. Mary's College: 

In the early morning of May 16. officials of the 
Maryland State Police came to the campus to serve war- 
rants on four students ivho allegedly have been selling mar- 
ijuana and hashish to residents of St. Mary's County. As 
the police were attempting to serve their warrants, an un- 
identified person gained access to the public address system 
in Prince George's Hall and began to urge residents to 
obstruct the officers. Subsequently, two state troopers were 
temporarily blocked into a student's room: a small number 
of students, no more than two dozen, began to throw rocks 
at police cars: approximately 123 other students gathered 
to watch developments: the police called for additional 
troopers and attempted to quell the destructive students 
with tear gas pellets. 

While it is important that we take careful measures to 
prevent the recurrence of events of this kind on campus, it is 
equally important that this particular incident should be 
seen in proper perspective. The disturbance lasted no more 
than two hours: academic activities continued normally: 
only a very small number of students were involved: 
damage to College property was limited almost exclusively 
to broken windows: only six students were received at the 
College Infirmary after the incident, and those on an out- 
patient basis for minor eye and skin irritation: the full 
supervisory services of the College, including the Dean of 
Students and his staff, the Dean of Administration and 
his staff, and I, were continually on the scene well into the 
morning hours to ensure that events did not get out of 
hand. Finally, the rumor that a 'horde of hippies' would 
come to the campus for a 'smoke in' proved to be unfounded. 

Sincerely yours. 
J. Renwick Jackson. J r (signed) 

-Source: Mimeograph on letterhead stationery; Loose 
Papers, College Archives. 



125 



buyer's market in which talented Ph.D.s were both 
available and affordable, but the very abundance of 
qualified professors, coupled with the abolition of ten- 
ure in 1971 — the ultimate safety-net of job security- 
made the faculty very vulnerable to shitting adminis- 
trative priorities. The dropping of tenure had produced 
a "predictably stormy" reaction from the St. Mary's fac- 
ulty. Although the contract system can be a workable 
substitute for tenure (as it has generally been in the 
1980s), it requires the utmost faculty confidence in, 
and the accountability of, top administrators, who 
must scrupulously adhere to the doctrines of fairness 
and due process. 

President Jackson and the St. Mary's faculty locked 
horns in Spring 1974 over the real or imagined "purge" 
of the instructional staff, as he and his critics struggled 
to distinguish progressive reform from harmful change. 
At issue was the administration's refusal to renew the 
contracts of Dr. David Portetj a popular but outspoken 
associate professor of political science, and James H. 
Hayes, an instructor of humanities, despite the positive 
recommendations from the faculty retention commit- 
tees. Whereas President Jackson said that he was "re- 
plac[ing} those he thought were impeding progress," 
his faculty critics, frustrated with their subordinate 
position and relative impotence under the contract sys- 
tem, found his actions abusive, arbitrary, and designed 
more to silence opposition than to improve instruc- 
tional quality. Charging serious irregularities in due 
process, including allegations of presidential bullying 




A s ten? -faced, mt-io-gentle Ren. 



to obtain the negative decisions on Porter and Hayes, 
the faculty, in what the president regarded as the "May 
Massacre" (15 May 1974), voted 36-14 to censure Dr. 
Jackson and 29-19 on a resolution ot "no confidence"- 
in effect a request for his resignation or non-renewal of 
his contract. The Board of Trustees investigated the fac- 
ulty complaints, and considered as well the recent crit- 
icisms of the administration in yet another report from 
accreditation evaluators of the Middle States Associa- 
tion, but a majority of the Board rewarded President 
Jackson with a new three-year contract. 

The battle was rejoined in the fall semester ot 1974, 
as numbers of returning students, dismayed over the 



C^^C^ 



"They Won't Forget Us" 

We won't forget it. 

We didn t arrive together. For some. St. Mary's was the 
only school. For others, just the last. For some. 1975 was 
year four For others, year five or even six. 

We saw changes, and we changed. We ventured into an 
old college, but one that was new. Just recently turned a 
four-year school, St. Mary's was struggling with an iden- 
tity crisis. It developed as we developed. Its formative years 
were ours. 

There were events. They busted us, and we rioted. They 
fired our teachers, and we protested. They sold us beer on 
campus, and we drank it. 

We saw a student government die. and be reborn. We 
saw a newspaper fold, a)id be unfolded. We saw a radio 
station finally emerge. 

There were traditions. A bath in St. John's Pond for a 



birthday. Waterfront day. A lacrosse game on a sunny 
afternoon. 

We worked, and we played. We laughed, and ive cried. 
We loved, and we lost. We grew. 

It became a way of life. Springtime on the water Loll- 
ing in the sun. Thursday nights. And all-nighters during 
finals week to compensate. 

Then it was over For some, too soon. For others, not 
soon enough. 

We left one experience for others. We traded books and 
friends for paychecks and bosses. We left a leisurely stroll to 
class on a long path for a crowded journey through life on a 
hazardous road. 

They wished us well, and we left in style. 
They won't forget us. 

Brian Murphy 1975 
-Source: The Castellan 7974- 76, 



126 



Porter case and angry about paying a new $165 instruc- 
tional fee (up 650 percent from the year before), now 
supported the faculty in expressing deep distrust of 
President Jackson s leadership. Despite the fact that the 
extra $140 they paid in instructional fees funded faculty 
salary increases, students expressed solidarity with their 
teachers in opposition to the administration. The at- 
mosphere of contentiousness was exacerbated by Dr. 
Jackson's refusal to release the lull details of the Middle 
States accreditation report of 1 June 1974. Although St. 
Mary's finally received long-term accreditation, which 
was good news indeed, the visiting evaluators con- 
tinued to have serious reservations about administrative 
performance- so much so that they recommended the 
appointment of an independent provost to serve as a 
buffer between the mutually mistrustful president and 
professors. On 7 October 1974, the faculty urged the 
Board of Trustees to appoint someone they trusted- 
Dean of the Faculty Fred S. Honkala — to the new post 
of provost. However, only one month later. Dr. Honkala 
left the College, alleging sustained conflict with, and 
increasing "verbal abuse" from. President Jackson, who 
was already on record as saying that "one of the College's 



primary problems is that there are too many [faculty 
members] who want to be chiefs, . . . and not enough 
who are willing to be Indians." 

Ironically, the position of provost, originally pro- 
posed as a solution to campus conflict, now exacerbated 
the problem. Dr. Manning M. Pattillo, Jr., an experi- 
enced, respected administrator, left the University of 
Rochester in late February 1975 to become the first 
provost at St. Mary's. Provost Pattillo helped turn fac- 
ulty suspicions to full-blown paranoia when, after only 
three months in office, he issued negative judgments on 
the retention or promotion of several professors he 
barely knew and then abruptly resigned on 21 May to 
accept the presidency of Oglethorpe University in At- 
lanta. The administration overruled the faculty's posi- 
tive recommendations on colleagues in six of twenty- 
five cases for retention, two of three cases for tenure 
(involving teachers hired before July 1971), and seven of 
nine cases for promotion. The student press alleged that 
Pattillo had already known of his imminent departure 
to Oglethorpe when he arrived at St. Mary's, and critics 
charged that President Jackson had specifically re- 
cruited Pattillo to be his designated "hatchet-man." 




In the midst oj campus crisis, Presideut Jackson initiated the first Governors Cup Yacht Race in August 1974- This over- 
night sailboat race doivn Chesapeake Bay, from the present capital in Annapolis to the original capital at St. Mary's City, 
was the brainchild of SMC student sailors Dale Rausch '71. Pete Sarelas '74. and Russ Baker '73. Described as the largest 
sailing race on the East Coast and as "summer's most breathtaking sight. " the Governors Cup is today an enduring tradition 
enjoyed by thousands- feiv oj whom recall the controversies oj 1974. 



127 



The 1975-76 academic year promised to be just as 
stormy, as both the Faculty Senate on 15 September and 
the full faculty on 24 September issued stinging re- 
bukes of administrative decisions on personnel during 
the previous sprmg-time ot discontent. Although they 
threatened unionization and A.A.U.P. investigations, 
the faculty was somev^'hat mollified by the appointment 
of Dr. Harriet D. Hudson, a well-respected dean at 
Randolph-Macon Women's College, as the next pro- 
vost. From September 1975 to June 1978, she brought 
greater respect, efficiency, and stability to that office. 
The faculty was also pleased with the Fall 1975 rein- 
statement of Andrew Chovanes as assistant professor of 
sociology (albeit with the loss of tenure), following his 
197.^ conviction and incarceration for growing mari- 
juana. A popular, effective instructor and former acting 
dean of students, Chovanes had become a cause celehre 
because President Jackson and Provost Pattillo had 
strongly opposed his reinstatement. But in this in- 
stance, the Board of Trustees supported the hundreds of 
students who had circulated petitions in Chovanes's be- 
half and the dozens of faculty colleagues who had do- 
nated funds for his legal defense. 

These two positive developments, however, had to 
be balanced against the continuing high attrition of dis- 
contented students and staff members. Morale at all 




Members of the Black istone faviily assemble on J I May 
1973 for the campus dedication oj the "Blackistone Memo- 
rial Room" in Anne Arundel Hall, which has since become 
a popular meeting and reception area for a variety of College 
functions. The commemorative plaque reads: "In Memory of 
Mrs. Jennie Smith Blackistone, Class of 1892: Martha 
Morris Blackistone Orme, Class of 1932: Anne Woodall 
Blackistone Labat, Class of 1957 ." In this photo, the 
woman at the far left is Virginia ("Gina") Cross Black- 
istone. a Junior College graduate of 1935 and subsequently 
alumni editor r/The Mulberry Tree Papers. 



levels was becoming a serious issue, as the Empath re- 
ported that 328 of the 382 students who entered St. 
Mary's in the fall of 1971-86 percent-had not "per- 
sisted" until graduation in May 1975. Moreover, the 
student paper on 3 September 1976 listed fourteen 7&t- 
ulty departures in a very moving "Gone . . . But Not 
Forgotten" feature, complete with photos of the most 
popular teachers who were leaving. On the inside page 
were the names of sixteen new faculty members and 
administrators who had arrived, like military replace- 
ments, to take their turn at the battlements. Continu- 
ing this theme, senior Clay Evans, Jr., presented a 
stinging public rebuke of the administration's personnel 
policies at commencement ceremonies in May 1976. 
The newness of the College was no longer a sufficiently 
valid excuse for the fact that freshmen still comprised 
42 percent of the student body in 1975-76 and the fac- 
ulty still suffered from constant turnover. Student Will 
Foreman observed that "this place is like a train station, 
it's constant come and go. The faculty are afraid of los- 
ing their jobs, while we're concerned with the quality 
of our education." 

The following academic year ( 1976—77), there were 
new challenges to the administration based on old 
grievances of the faculty and students. It was clear to 
the critics that the swinging-door employment prac- 
tices now stifled rather than stimulated enthusiastic and 
creative educational experimentation, and they sought 
to challenge the previously "unresponsive" Board of 
Trustees into taking some bold and beneficial action 
that would justify its independent status. 

The focal point of confrontation in the spring of 
1977 was the administration's decision not to renew the 
contract of Dr. Christopher Wilson, professor of physics 
and chairman of the Natural Science and Mathematics 
Division. Dr. Wilson was the last of the division chairs 
still in office who had supported the faculty's 1974 "no 
confidence" vote against President Jackson. The presi- 
dent's critics charged him with seeking retribution in a 
"vendetta" against Wilson-a personnel df^cision that 
was perhaps too personal and the latest in a long line of 
faculty ousters that collectively signaled a challenge to 
academic freedom. The Empath reported that thirty wit- 
nesses, including Provost Hudson and all but one mem- 
ber of the Natural Science Division, had testified on 
Wilson's behalf during a ten-hour session with the 
trustees in January-but to no avail. Faculty members 
collected thousands of dollars for Wilson's legal fund, 
but officially they rejected angry confrontation with the 
Board, favoring a "limited strategy" of discussing their 
grievances with the trustees. Student activists were in 
no mood for accommodation, however, and quickly 



128 



^ 

A Message from the Class ot 1976 



PiTsich'ntJiickson. iitenihcrs of the Bi)cinl oj Trustt'fS. c/istin- 
giiished guests, members oj the faculty and administration, 
members of the Class of 1976 and their jamiltes. ladies and 
gentlemen. On behalf of the Class of 1916 I welcome you to 
St. Alary 's College and thank you for joining ns in this 
celebration (j our academic achievement. 

St. Alary s College has gii'en us more than an educa- 
tion: it has given us four years of pleasant and lasting mem- 
ories. In the years to come, we will become even more appre- 
ciative oj the College's pastoral setting, with its broad 
expanses oj playing fields and its proximity to the river. Per- 
haps this natural setting ivill be jor many of us as Tint em 
Abbey was for Wordsivorth. a place of natural beauty by 
which to measure our spiritual progress. 

The most important efjects of the education we have re- 
ceived here must be measured in personal terms. . . . The 
best teaching we received came jrom those teachers who 
taught not only their subjects but also their lives— those 
teachers who were honest enough and courageous enough to 
allow us into their private lives where we could see them as 
real people. These teachers taught us the meaning of courage 
and rectitude. We know because we watched them fight in- 
justice and indifference. We learned something from them 
about being human: and we learned something about the 
world we live in when we saw them lose their jobs. The 



professed aims oj the College were given lije through these 
teachers and we the students could have believed those in 
authority had these teachers been given places oj honor. In- 
stead, we, like the students of Socrates, are left to question 
the wisdom of those in authority ivho would rid the College 
(f such fine teachers in a manner that indicates hypocritical 
disregard for the College, the students, and their own 
words. 

We have observed those in authority at the College well, 
and they have taught us what to expect in the world. We 
will see the rules oj justice bent to serve selj -interest: we will 
be lied to: our appeals for redress ivill be disregarded. We 
will be dismissed as immature, ive will be told that we do 
not understand. We will see those in whom we have ex- 
pressed no confidence remain as leaders against our ivill. We 
will see public relations take the place of meaningful actions, 
and finally we will see the public agony of those who are so 
driven that they will not have the grace to resign. 

We have learned much about how jar apart words and 
actions can be. We take with us a knowledge oj duplicity-a 
knowledge that hopejully in the privacy oj our hearts ivill 
lead us to the opposite and contrasting knowledge oj private 
honesty and truthjulness. 

-Source: Commencement rematks by Clay Joseph Evans, 
Jr., Class of 1976, as excerpted from The Empath. IV, No. 1 (3 
September 1976), 1, 6. 



mounted forceful protests in an effort to convince tlie 
Board of Trustees not to renew Jackson's own contract, 
whicfi was to be reviewed that spring. In late February 
1977, the Student Government Association Senate 
unanimously voted "no confidence " in President Jack- 
son and in March held a referendum, which registered a 
vote of 630-26 against renewing the president's con- 
tract. Students kept up the pressure, organizing rallies 
and reportedly even vandalizing the President's House. 
On 24 March, Dr. Sheldon Knorr, Commissioner for 
Higher Education in Maryland, conducted an on- 
campus investigation of the controversy surrounding 
President Jackson, reputedly at the direct request of 
Governor Marvin Mandel. However, Dr. Knorr was un- 
able to report his findings, due to the governor's illness, 
before 23 April 1977-the day the Board of Trustees 
voted 9-1 to renew the president's contract until 30 
June 1981. Three days later, on Tuesday, 26 April, St. 
Mary's students made a desperate, last-ditch effort to 
dissuade Dr. Jackson from accepting that contract, as an 
estimated crowd of 200 to 250 boycotted classes and 



;Ji BP Ml H W^ 

im iwiiiii- liflii iwiiiiiii'ii • 

1 




On 26 April 1977 , President Jackson was called out oj his 
office by some 200 students. This rally— the last hostile 
campus protest to date-jailed to dissuade Jackson from 
accepting a new contract. 



129 



held a rally outside the president's office. This angry 
April "March on Calvert Hall" was reminiscent ot the 
boycott and rally directed at May Russell a decade be- 
fore, except that President Jackson did not call the po- 
lice-he addressed the crowd ot hostile critics! Neither 
rampant dissatisfaction nor Professor Wilson's subse- 
quent moral victory (a 1980 out-of-court settlement of 
$32,500) could persuade President Jackson to leave of- 
fice. Confident of riding out this storm as he had done 
with previous ones, the president accepted the new con- 
tract from the Board of Trustees on 5 May 

The Winds of Calm Conformity 

Few critics of the administration doubted President 
Jackson's capacity for surviving the storms of contro- 
versy, but no one could have predicted the eerie but 
welcome calm that quickly descended over the campus 
following the confrontational spring of 1977. The 
"March on Calvert Hall" proved to be the last angry 
protest rally by St. Mary's students to this day, and rela- 
tions between the president and faculty improved as 



well. In retrospect, it seems that similar national trends 
anticipated this sudden shift at St. Mary's, as a rising, 
self-interested "me generation" of undergraduates fi- 
nally outnumbered the earlier student activists who 
knew and cared about Vietnam, Woodstock, and Wa- 
tergate. Student radicalism had come late to St. Mary's 
and took its time leaving, but the spring revolt of 1977 
was the grand finale for the politically committed 
"long-hairs" and "pot-heads." 

Apart from national trends, there were factors 
unique to St. Mary's that explain the sudden calm on 
campus. The most committed student critics were over- 
taken by exhaustion, frustration, and, especially, gradu- 
ation late in the spring semester, and the departure of 
dedicated activists like Bill Schladt and SGA President 
Will Foreman in the Class of 1977 left a void that would 
not be filled in the following academic year. Another 
important factor was the genial apathy of the under- 
graduate majority— that sizable percentage of profes- 
sional partyers who had seen education as recreation and 
had always "done their own thing," ignoring, and 





WERE YOU THERE? 



The 60's craze caught up with SMC, 
we had our cwri protest 1 




The "March on Calvert Hall. " 26 April 1977 -the last major student demonstratton at St. Mary's College. This collage of 
photographs appeared in the Buford times, which was described as "a one-time effort created and distributed by the St. 
Mary's College Journalism II class, " on 19 May 1977. "Buford" was a much-loi'ed dog that served as a campus mascot in 
this era. 



130 



ignored by, the publicity of political protest. With im- 
provements in dormitory life and expanded extracur- 
ricular activities, more and more students in the late 
1970s and early 1980s discovered the pleasurable dis- 
tractions at St. Mary's, including Spring Fairs, Water- 
front Days, and the frequent, near-addictive frisbee golf 
tournaments sponsored by the "International Bong As- 
sociation" (IBA). 

The rise of recreation as a quasi-religion on this 
campus was no accident, as President Jackson approved 
of almost any diversion that would distract students 
from focused criticism of his administration. Although 
he genuinely enjoyed attending campus activities in his 
trademark straw hat, bartending at student affairs, and 
playing frisbee with dorm residents, he was now in his 
late forties and had disavowed his earlier idealism about 
educational experimentation and participatory democ- 
racy among students. His campaign to thwart under- 
graduate activism was illustrated in 1976—77 by his 
determined opposition to student representation on the 
Board of Trustees and his attempt (unsuccessful) to al- 
low campus security officers to carry revolvers. Al- 
though he agreed to let the seniors select speakers for 
commencement in 1977, it was only with the firm as- 
surance that the public addresses would not vilify him 
or condemn his administration as had been the case in 
1976. 

Yet another, and most significant, factor in shifting 
the campus mood away from radical activism was the 
new emphasis on academic rigor and the return of tradi- 
tional grading standards. With careerism increasingly 
important across American campuses in the late 1970s, 
St. Mary's reinstituted the "D" and the "F" in the fall of 
1976 and began computing cumulative quality point 
averages to determine which students deserved aca- 
demic distinction or dismissal. Conventionality had in- 
deed returned to this College with such potential for 
innovation. President Jackson himself scuttled a popu- 
lar proposal for a new field studies program (the "Mon- 
tana Project"); began hiring older, more experienced 
professors with tenure; and even tried (unsuccessfully) 
to reintroduce a tenure system at St. Mary's. Calm con- 
ventionality returned to the College after 1977 at some 
cost to educational innovation and academic creativity. 
The trade-off was a mixed blessing. The school became 
less idealistic and less exciting than it had once been, 
but it was also less bloodied and disrupted by constant 
battles. 

Nineteen-seventy-seven was yet another turning 
point in the history of St. Mary's, after which the 
College reestablished continuity with its traditional 
strengths and adopted a skeptical view of change for 




LoHitrnctum sites proved undaunttng tu jrisbee goljers. 



change's sake. The school was henceforth not as proges- 
sive as it had once tried to be, but at least its maturing, 
experienced faculty was more focused on, and successful 
in attaining, dramatic results in all of the established 
criteria of academic excellence. Between 1977 and 
1981, the stability and continuity of the faculty in- 
creased substantially; twenty-three of the current pro- 
fessors (about one-third of the total) were hired in this 
period. Many came as young Ph.D.s and progressed 
through the ranks under a series of contracts without 
ever experiencing a tenure system. They also never ex- 
perienced the drastic and disillusioning swings of the 
pendulum, having known neither the most visionary, 
nor the most vindictive, side of President Jackson 
in earlier years. However, they did encounter a still- 
charismatic chief executive, who was capable of stimu- 
lating their efforts in pursuit of "the mission " to realize 
the old potential of the new College. 

This stabilized faculty, in turn, helped stimulate 
the record enrollments of more accomplished students, 
who flocked to St. Mary's as an affordable alternative to 
the increasingly expensive private liberal arts colleges. 
Operating above normal dormitory capacity, the Col- 
lege in the fall of 1977 enrolled 268 freshmen, whose 
mean verbal score of 453 on the Scholastic Aptitude 
Test placed them first among Maryland's public col- 
leges. Matriculating freshmen had a composite mean 
SAT score of 949 in Fall 1979 and 971 the next year; 
every entering class since then, with the exception of 
Fall 1981, has produced higher averages than previous 
matriculants. More importantly, despite the new grad- 



131 



ing standards St. Mary's students were actually staying 
to graduate- 182 in 1979, 194 in 1980, 169 in 1981, 
170 in 1982, and 215 in 1983- Every graduating class 
after 1979 had a valedictorian based on quality point 
average, and beginning in 1977, the College instituted 
an annual awards ceremony (since 1980, called the 
Honors Convocation) to recognize students' academic 
achievement and leadership. 

St. Mary's College began to generate a focused mo- 
mentum again after what seemed like a wild goose chase 
of shifting priorities earlier in the 1970s. The school 
was still innovative-and certainly inexpensive-enough 
for most students, and the professors had a renewed 
sense of the wonderful, albeit less idealistic, potential of 
this still-young College. The news media responded 
with favorable publicity for a change, especially re- 
garding new extracurricular activities and community- 
oriented events. In the midst ot crisis in April 1977, 




The solitude of venerabk Calvert Hall rejlntect the calm con- 
ventionality that returned to the St. Mary's campus after 
1977. 



President Jackson had observed that "in the welter of 
other and spicier news about campus goings-on, solid 
accomplishments at the College are often overlooked by 
the news media. " However, the press could not long 
ignore St. Mary's consistent rankings among the na- 
tion's top ten sailing and canoe/kayak teams, or the Ail- 
American honors accorded to three students, or the 
popular and rewarding Tidewater Music Festival, or the 
new Charlotte Hall Fellowships for county high school 
students, or the enormously successful Governor's Cup 
Yacht Race maugurated in 1974. Between 1978 and 
1981, the College sponsored stimulating and popular 
public symposia on China, the Soviet Union, and Islam; 
initiated a long and still-fruitful study-abroad program 
with the Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Studies at 
Oxford; opened a $4-million fine arts center (Montgom- 
ery Hall), which has stimulated new majors in music 
and theater and developed into an enriching cultural re- 
source for the surrounding community; and instituted a 
highly selective Honors Program that has since at- 
tracted some of Maryland's brightest students to this 
campus. In those same years, two distinguished schol- 
ars were members of the St. Mary's faculty-Dr. Melvin 
H. Jackson, former maritime curator of the Smithso- 
nian Institution, and Professor David Beers Quinn, 
former chairman of the department of history at the 
University of Liverpool, author of more than fifty 
books, and considered the world's authority on the early 
colonization of North America. In the 1977-78 aca- 
demic year, these eminent scholars collaborated on a 
successful College lecture series that featured interna- 
tionally-known speakers and resulted in the publication 
of a notable collection of essays, entitled Early Maryland 
in a Wider World. 

The Storm After the Calm 

In August 1979, an obviously pleased President Jackson 
observed that "St. Mary's has completed its most suc- 
cessful year ever. . . . The spirit of coUegiality ... is 
growing-one can see and feel it-and it is this spirit 
that will accelerate the process of transforming our 
good college into an excellent one. " Ironically, the spirit 
of coUegiality that helped nurture, and was nurtured 
by, an atmosphere of calm, steady progress on campus 
did not depend on, or extend to, President Jackson 
himself Only two and a half years later, he would sud- 
denly vanish, resigning his office quickly and cleanly 
once the Board of Trustees rallied behind the faculty 
and students. But an even broader and deeper sense of 
coUegiality survived, indeed thrived, without him, 
evolving into a renaissance of the spirit at St. Mary's 
that is with us still. 



132 




Mdiilgomery ilall i'lnt: Arts Ce/iltr (or "Kennedy Center 
South"), dedicated as part of Maryland Day festivities an 
23 March 1980. This $4 -million building provided 
34.600-sqiiare feet of floor space to the Division of Arts 
and Letters and quickly became a rich community resource 
for art exhibits, musical performances, and theatrical pro- 
ductions. The terra cotta frieze seen above the north portal 
was copied from the Parthenon of ancient Athens ("Lord 
Elgin's marbles") by Princeton University in 1888 and resi- 
ded on that campus until Professor Jonathan Ingersoll pro- 
cured them for St. Mary's in 1973- 



In the fall of 1981, President Jackson seemed tired 
and distracted, perhaps bored with the administrative 
routine at a school that was progressing all too predicta- 
bly toward goals that were no longer visionary or espe- 
cially challenging. Like a sailboat, the College now had 
the wind in its sails and was moving along in smooth 
waters with less need for a restless, creative navigator to 
keep a constant watch. The president seemed mcapable 
of pursuing objectives to their logical conclusion before 
losing interest. One new initiative seemed to intrigue 
Dr. Jackson-a unique interdisciplinary institute for 
seventeenth-century Chesapeake studies- but after the 
plan received enthusiastic support from several influen- 
tial scholars, he inexplicably killed the idea by clumsily 
trying to circumvent its approval by the faculty. Un- 
typically, he did not fight for passage of the proposal, 
and the plan was aborted. That same semester, a state 
auditor's report was highly critical of administrative 
procedures, and President Jackson successfully de- 
fended himself against a charge of driving while intoxi- 
cated. But the old fire was gone, and concern mounted 
across campus that something was amiss. 

On 5 December 1981, President Jackson publicly 
declared to the Board of Trustees that the "college had 
had a most successful semester; . . . everyone worked 
well together . . . and the morale on campus was op- 



timistic." But he must have known how faculty con- 
fidence had plummeted in a few short months amid 
unmistakable signs that the distant, distracted presi- 
dent was not providing strong or consistent leadership. 
Jackson belatedly confirmed what campus rumors had 
already suggested— that he had fallen in love with Dr. 
Alison Baker, his vice-president for academic affairs, 
who was in her first semester at the College. As he told 
the Washington Post: "Tacing a long relationship with 
Alison, there wasn't any way we could continue at St. 
Mary's. I had told some of the board that I was getting 
ready to go. "' Once the president's "pilgrim heart and 
mind began to dream of new challenges," as he put it, 
there was no shortage of faculty members, students, 
and even trustees most anxious to ease him out of office 
expeditiously, with a minimum of public controversy. 
Considering their scars from past personnel disputes, 
the faculty was especially concerned with the potential 
for a conflict of interest in the president's sexual rela- 
tionship with the academic officer designated as the fac- 
ulty's advocate and official liaison to the president. 

Everything came to a head soon after the Spring 
1982 semester began. On 26 January 1982, the faculty 
issued a nearly unanimous resolution, stating forcefully 
but ambiguously that the teaching staff was "concerned 
about the present situation at the college." The reason 
for this "concern" was news to some of the trustees, and 
the faculty selected a special committee of five to dis- 
cuss matters with the Board in more detail. On Friday, 
5 February, an all-campus meeting attracted about 250 
people to St. Mary's Hall, where a consensus was 




\ 



I 
i 



Ethel "Chancie" Chance retired in 1980 after thirty-two 
years of service to St. Mary's-originally as May Russell's 
secretary and later as the head nurse at the Infrmary. 



133 



reached that the time for a change in leadership had ar- 
rived. Facing restrained but persistent opposition from 
old enemies and former friends, most of whom were less 
concerned with his moral lapses than with his admin- 
istrative ones, President Jackson submitted his resigna- 
tion in time for the regularly scheduled meeting of the 
Board of Trustees on Saturday, 6 February 1982. On 
that bitterly cold day in Annapolis, the trustees met 
most of the morning with campus constituencies and 
unanimously accepted the resignation when it became 
clear that this scandal was subverting administrative 
efficiency and academic progress. Vice-President Baker 
would resign a month later (effective 15 May 1982), and 
both departing administrators received a large financial 
settlement from the College. In fact, the resignation 
agreement worked out between Dr. Jackson and the 
Board, with the advice and assistance of Derick Savage, 
of the Attorney General's Office, and Dr. Knorr, of the 
Board for Higher Education, officially placed the presi- 
dent on a one-and-a-half year sabbatical leave with pay 
($44,683 per annum) until his contract expired on 30 
June 1983. 

The Legacy of Renwick Jackson 
In a farewell statement following his resignation, ex- 
President Jackson wrote that "Elijah left the world in a 
chariot of fire. And there is a Viking tradition of going 
out to sea in a fiery boat. My years at St. Mary's have had 
fire and intensity. . . . My service to St. Mary's has 
been an act of love. It is meet and right that my de- 
parture moves on the powerful tides of the mysteries of 
profound love." In a 21 July 1982 interview with the 
Washington Post, Dr. Jackson said that "if the criticism 
[of his administration} is that I was not an implementer 
of dreams, the record proves that's untrue. If the crit- 
icism was that I had more dreams than I could imple- 
ment, I plead guilty." 

Renwick Jackson's twelve-and-a-half year presiden- 
tial administration was a microcosm of the St. Mary's 
experience, in which change and continuity exist as 
equally valuable attributes. As a historian, he ap- 
preciated and continued the College's traditions as a 
state-owned, independently administered, affordable, 
nonsectarian school of the liberal arts. But he also envi- 
sioned an especially idealistic new future for the College 
with the optimistic certitude of a clergyman. Jackson's 
early dreams were daring-similar to those of former St. 
Mary's leaders who offered ambitious curricula when 
there were too few teachers, planned buildings when 
the funds were not there, and took it on faith that stu- 
dents would come. But dreams are extremely disillu- 
sioning without administrative consistency. It was hard 



to reconcile Jackson's words with his deeds; some good 
dreams were never implemented for lack of administra- 
tive follow-through, while others that became reality 
were later disavowed. Where did he stand on issuesi' Al- 
though his presidency was the shortest of this century 
up to that time, there were three distinct and contradic- 
tory periods in Jackson's twelve and a half years. The 
idealistic intensity of 1969-1972 produced laudable 
creativity at St. Mary's, but the subsequent period of 
retrenchment between 1973-1977 engendered a mean- 
spirited atmosphere of repression and retribution that 
sapped vital energy from the institution at a critical 
time. In the third phase of the Jackson presidency 
(1978-1981), the College found the mid-point between 
the extremes of radical idealism and reactionary prag- 
matism and made notable progress according to most of 
the accepted benchmarks of academic respectability. 
The president's final flirtation with unorthodox behav- 
ior, however, proved unsettling for a campus commu- 
nity that was by then fond of stability, conformity, and 
conventionality. 

In the end, President Jackson brought stability and 
continuity to this campus- and he was destroyed by his 
own creation. It was ironic that in the same month that 
Jackson resigned, St. Mary's College was listed among 
the 265 "best and most interesting four-year institu- 
tions in the country" in The New York Times Selective 
Guide to Colleges by Edward B. Fiske (who had been the 
commencement speaker in 1976). That recognition 
brought the College one step closer to fulfilling Dr. 
Jackson's belief that it could become "the poor man's 
Swarthmore." Equally ironic is the fact that the school's 
subsequent progress has resulted largely from the tal- 
ented faculty that the former president recruited and 
did not purge. In 1988-89, forty-five of the ninety- 
eight staff members with faculty rank came to St. 
Mary's during President Jackson's tenure. 

Years earlier, at the begmning of the Jackson presi- 
dency, Dr. Ralph C. Baxter, then chairman of the Di- 
vision of Humanities, wrote, with pun definitely 
intended, that "it takes an eagle's eye to see ahead and a 
wren's cunning to get there." Ren Jackson certainly had 
cunning, and he relished its use to generate chaos— 
which he asserted, was the "proper temper for creative 
endeavor. " The chaos of the seventeenth century had in- 
deed produced opportunity for the strong and the lucky 
in old St. Mary's City. But was Ren's cunning chaos nec- 
essary to maximize opportunities for the struggling 
new College, or was it a costly distraction from more 
consistent development!'' Did he grow unpopular be- 
cause of his radical innovations, or did academic experi- 
mentation become unpopular because of him? Would 



134 



Dr. Jackson's Official Statement 

Released. 8 February 1982 

I am grateful for the adventure we have shared in the devel- 
opment of a public college that embodies the finest qualities oj 
the best private liberal arts institutions. 

I am grateful, too. for the confidence of the Board of 
Trustees and the support it has given to my leadership since 
1969. The strong personal bonds of love and understanding 
which we have established have infused this mission with 
an extraordinary cjuality oj friendship that is rare in pub- 
lic institutions. 

That quality of friendship has characterized relation- 
ships with colleagues and students as well. A spirit of cele- 
bration and laughter and shared commitment has given 
grace and elan to our daily activities. 

When it became clear that we had accomplished our 
primary goals at St. Mary's— the building of a distinctive 
institutional model in public higher education and an ef- 
fective utilization of the democratic process to establish ide- 
alistic public policies and to implement them-my pilgrim 
heart and mind began to dream of new challenges. For more 
than a year, I have thought my time at St. Mary's ivas 
drawing to a close. 

Next week, as I begin my sabbatical. I will take on a 
neiv task as senior consultant with the American Associa- 
tion oj State Colleges and Universities in Washington. 
D.C. My project will be to design, in radically new forms, 
a curriculum of the 21st century. 



I trust that what we've accomplished at St. Mary's will 
be confirmed in the future, and that the quest for excellence 
will continue to go forward. I extend my best Irishes toall of 
my colleagues in that endeavor. 




Dr. J. Renwick Jackson, Jr. . first male president of St. 
Mary's College of Maryland, 1 July 1969-6 February 
1982: B. A.. D.D.. Westminster College (Pennsyl- 
vania), B.D.. Princeton Theological Seminary. Ph.D.. 
history. University of Edinburgh. Portrait by Peter 
Egeli. 1981. 



this College be more daringly progressive and creative 
today if the rhetoric of participatory democracy had 
been allowed to become reality? Did St. Mary's prosper 
because of, or despite. Renwick Jackson's leadership? 
These are significant questions that another historian 
will be better able to answer on the 200th anniversary of 
St. Mary's College of Maryland. That this institution 
will surely have a 200th anniversary to celebrate is in 
part owing to that zesttul, vengeful, charismatic, and 
complex president who was once so committed to mak- 
ing the Monument School a great college of the future. 

Pragmatic Idealism: 1982-1990 
After the temporary interruption caused by President 
Jackson's last crisis, the St. Mary's campus returned to 
an atmosphere of calm, competent conventionality un- 
der the interim presidency of Dr. Richard D. Weigle. 
The sixty-nine-year-old former president of St. John's 
College (1949-1980) and a St. Mary's trustee since 



1976 stepped down from the Board on 6 February 1982 
and served as the institution's first interim president 
until 30 June 1983. This internationally respected edu- 
cator came out of retirement to restore stability and 
respectability to St. Mary's. Dr. 'Weigle virtually volun- 
teered his invaluable services (earning only $6,000 an- 
nually, the maximum allowed under the Social Security 
laws) to assist staff and students in putting negative 
publicity behind them and in refocusing their energies 
on concrete, achievable goals for this College. President 
Weigle's administrative experience and ability brought 
the school through the latest of its transitions with ease 
and contributed to the College's maturity and enhanced 
reputation as it prepared to select a new, permanent 
chief executive. St. Mary's had come far in a turbulent 
decade and was finally ready to reap the benefits of a 
long-promised but much-deferred bright future. 

On 1 July 1983, a new era began at St. Mary's Col- 
lege of Maryland when Dr. Edward T. (Ted) Lewis be- 



135 



came its third president. Selected from 200 applicants 
after the most extensive and intensive executive search 
in the College's history, Dr. Lewis represented, in the 
words of Dr. Weigle, "a rare combination of teacher, hu- 
manist, administrator and effective advocate." The 
forty-nine-year-old father of two teenage sons had ob- 
tained his B.A. from Union College (New York), an 
M.A. from Boston University, and a Ph.D. in English 
literature (Shakespeare studies) from the University ol 
Denver. His credentials in the humanities were well es- 
tablished by teaching literature, writing poetry, and ed- 
iting journals, but his diversified career also took him to 



the Graduate School of Business and Public Admin- 
istration at Cornell University, where he served as asso- 
ciate dean for nine years. As an administrator at that 
prestigious university. Dr. Lewis played an influential 
role in fund-raising and curriculum development-both 
of which St. Mary's desperately needed in 19H3. 

When he arrived on campus. Dr. Lewis accurately 
deciphered the mixed legacies of the two immediate 
past presidents and quickly determined that he would 
have to combine the strengths of the pragmatic builder. 
May Russell, with those of the idealistic innovator, 
Renwick Jackson, in order to prepare St. Mary's College 



Dr. Weigle on the Liberal Arts 

As president of St. John's College, Annapolis, and 
overseer of that school's unique "Great Books " curric- 
ulum. Dr. Richard D. Weigle had impeccable quali- 
fications for assessing a liberal arts education. In his 
commencement address to the St. Mary's Class of 
1975 he said: 

Liberal arts are skills, liberal or liberating skills, 
skills of the mind. . . . A liberal arts education is a broad 
and versatile education which should enable students to suc- 
cessfully tackle anything shelhe comes in contact with. 

Knowledge advances and the fundamental outlook oj 
man may change over the centuries, but these liberal arts oj 
understanding remain in one form or another indispensable. 
They enable men to win knowledge of the world around 
them and knoivledge of themselves in this world and to use 
that knowledge with wisdom. Under the guidance {of the 
liberal arts}, men can free themselves from the wantonness 
of prejudice and the narrowness of beaten paths. Under 
their discipline, men can acquire the habit of listening to 
reason. A genuinely conceived liberal arts curriculum can- 
not avoid aiming at these most far-reaching of all human 
goals. 

Whether each of you has succeeded in these four years is 
not attested to by the diploma you are about to receive, but 
rather by your own quiet assessment of how well you meet 
certain criteria which seem to me to measure a liberal educa- 
tion. . . . Do you respect reason and do you have confidence 
that dialectic-reasonable conversation and communication 
between rational men and women can arrive at solutions to 
problems and can approach the attainment of truth? 

I hope your four years at St. Mary's College of Mary- 
land enable you to share my conviction that the liberal arts 



college is hardly archaic and my faith that it can and will 
provide a paradigm jor the future. 

-SiiLircc: Thf Miillmry Tree Papers. Vol. II, No. 1 (Fall 
1975), 10. 




Dr Richard D. Weigle. the first interim president in the 
history of St. Mary's, 6 February 1982-30 June 1983: 
B.A., M.A., Ph.D.. Yale University, plus ten honor- 
ary doctorates. President Emeritus of St. John's College. 
Annapolis and Santa Fe. and a member of the St. Mary's 
Board of Trustees, 1976-present. 



136 



Changing Times 



{F}or some elitsm yet quintessential reason, I am still very 
attached to the quiet beauty of Southern Maryland and the 
close-knit community that is St. Mary's College. . . . I 
came here in a typically freshman daze that lasted tiro 
years. Going to college and socializing became synonymous. 
Rather than books. I concentrated on saying "hi " to everyone 
I met on the path, talking until four in the morning, 
. . . joining every club on campus, drinking five cups of 
coffee after dinner . . . attending sideline lacrosse parties 
right on the field, playing frisbee golf, listening to . . . 
Marshall Tucker-and. oh yeah. 16 credits a semester Fall 
semesters featured . . . Halloween, bonfires on Church 
Point, and the Winter Formal. Springtime meant Spring 
Fair Weekend, swimming and sailing in the river, and 
being thrown in the pond. 

Being hack at St. Mary's after just a year's absence {at 
the Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Studies. Oxford). 
I found what seemed to me a myriad of differences. More 
students, at earlier ages, seemed to be finding interest in 
their studies as well as their parties. The library had begun 
to draw larger crowds than the Snack Bar . . . The 
campus as a whole seems a lot less noisy, a bit more conserva- 
tive. Occupational drinkers have left campus for the glam- 
orous two-bar strip in downtown Park Hall. . . . No 
longer is there a proliferation of sweat pants: people dress up 
more often. Lacrosse games are now held in the stadium, 
where spirited fans are kept a safe distance from the game. 



The dorms are being carpeted. The drinking age has gone 
up. And in the past two years I have not seen one person 
thrown into the pond. 

I have found myself in the paradoxical position of long- 
ing for the spontaneity of old, casual St. Mary's, while si- 
multaneously helping to create a more structured environ- 
ment. . . . Until lately many of the school's policies and 
procedures have been fluid, written in sand so to speak. 
. . . The past year and a half {December 19^1 -May 
1983} has seen the emergence of more stability throughout 
the College{:} . . . the adoption of a new faculty gover- 
nance document, a new Student Government Constitution, 
and a Code of Student Rights and Responsibilities. 

Having been at least peripherally involved in all these 
changes. I have learned to deeply appreciate St. Mary's and 
ivhat it has to offer . . . My experience in Oxford was. 
again, invaluable. But a truly liberal education allows one 
to learn how to learn in a way that a more narrowly- 
focused education cannot. Our liberal arts mission as a 
small, public college, the history of our setting, the 
heritage of our "Woodstock South" years, and the beauty of 
the river all add up to the "quintessential reason " that St. 
Mary's College is such a special place for so many of us. 

-Source; Mary Beth Brady '83, "Reflections ot a Senior," 
The Mulberry Tree Papers. Vol. X, No. 2 (Fall 1983), 16-17. (Ms. 
Brady graduated with honors as a dual major in English and 
mathematics.) 



for the multi-faceted challenges of the twenty-hrst cen- 
tury. President Lewis's varied academic and administra- 
tive experiences prepared him to do both, and on his 
first weekend as a campus resident, he previewed the 
pragmatic idealism that has come to characterize his ad- 
ministration. Addressing the Alumni Association on 11 
June 1983, the president-elect emphasized the need to 
spread the gospel that a liberal arts education was "the 
most practical of educations" for the modern world. His 
genuine enthusiasm lor one ot the College's most endur- 
ing traditions surpassed that of his predecessors, as he 
proceeded to change the public's perceptions of the lib- 
eral arts rather than altering the school's curriculum to 
offer faddish vocational courses. Dr. Lewis's other major 
priority was fund-raising, especially from private 
sources, to supplement state support tor critical campus 
needs. If the public were to accept St. Mary's as an ex- 
cellent alternative to private liberal arts colleges, the fa- 
cilities and the faculty had to be first-rate. The College 



had to offer an equivalent educational experience that 
was affordable, not cheap, and private tundmg was es- 
sential for providing new scholarships and academic 
programs as well as improving the physical plant. 

The new president proved to be a quick study with 
regard to the political realities and business climate in 
Maryland, and his emphasis on practicality and effi- 
ciency was apparent when he held a series of statewide 
public receptions instead of an expensive, formal inaug- 
uration ceremony Dr. Lewis's sobering predictions of 
tighter budgets and hard decisions reflected the prag- 
matism of the planner, while his confident conviction 
that St. Mary's could achieve national prominence in 
public liberal arts education reflected the idealism of 
the dreamer.. Planners and dreamers would have to co- 
exist, indeed cooperate, at every level if St. Mary's were 
to revitalize its physical plant, revise its curriculum, 
and recruit superior faculty and students. 

Although the president set the agenda and estab- 



137 



"1984" 

Nineteen-eighty-four did not fulfill the chilling 
prophecy of George Orwell's novel; rather, as the year 
of Maryland's 350th anniversary, it became the 
source of celebration for the freedoms so long enjoyed 
at St. Mary's City. Tens of thousands of citizens came 
to this birthplace of toleration to enjoy pageants, fire- 
works, historical exhibits, and the ceremonial visit of 
the Duke and Duchess of Kent. But this state birth- 
day party was unlike any previous ones. Since the 
1934 tercentennial, American society had extended 
the liberal Calvert legacy to more citizens than ever 
before in finally addressing racial, cultural, religious, 
and sexual discrimination. 

Recent decades had also produced invaluable new 
research on seventeenth-century social history, so 
that scholars appreciated the past pioneers of the 
Maryland legacy better than ever before. With the 
old capital now a focal point tor researchers from 
around the world, St. Mary's College and the St. 



Mary's City Commission hosted an international 
scholarly conference of unprecedented scope and sig- 
nificance-"Maryland: A Product of Two Worlds." 
Between 17-20 May 1984, several hundred histo- 
rians, archaeologists, archivists, and interested cit- 
izens gathered on campus to learn of the latest 
research on the early Chesapeake. The distinguished 
list of participants included James Axtell (William 
and Mary), Bernard Bailyn (Harvard), T. H. Breen 
(Northwestern), Nicholas Canny (Galway), Lois Carr 
(St. Mary's City Commission), Cary Carson (Colonial 
Williamsburg Foundation), Peter Clark (Leicester), 
James Deetz (Berkeley), Richard Dunn (Pennsyl- 
vania), Jack P. Greene (Johns Hopkins), Allan 
Kulikoff (Princeton), Russell Menard (Minnesota), 
Edmund Morgan (Yale), Edward Papenfuse (Mary- 
land Hall of Records), David Quinn (St. Mary's), 
Joan Thirsk (Oxford), and Wilcomb Washburn 
(Smithsonian). Selected papers from this conference 
have been published in Lois Green Carr et al., eds.. 
Colonial Chesapeake Society (Chapel Hill, 1988). 



lished the goals, all segments ol the campus commu- 
nity were involved in implementing his initiatives. In 
annual addresses to the faculty. President Lewis prom- 
ised an administration that would be frank, fair, and 
open, and his repeated emphasis on the essential role 
that the faculty would play in the development of the 
College accorded long-oveidue respect to the profes- 
sors, thus helping to heal the wounds of past controver- 




President Ted Leu is gives a ivarin gretting to President 
Emerita May Russell on "May Russell Day. " Homecoming 
Weekend. 6 October 1984. 



sies. He also recruited experienced administrative spe- 
cialists to deal with budgeting, fund-raising, campus 
planning, curriculum development, student recruit- 
ment, public relations, and other highly technical tasks 
in an increasingly complex institution. This delegation 
of authority and the building of continuity in certain 
key staff positions prevented President Lewis from try- 
ing to do everything himself, as his predecessors had 
attempted to do, and allowed his administration to 
move forward on several fronts at once. 

In his six years at St. Mary's, President Lewis has 
established ambitious expectations and demanding 
standards of performance for all members of the campus 
community. He has emphasized a new image for St. 
Mary's, but it is an ideal image with a surprising 
amount of substance behind it. He has observed that 
when he assumed the presidency, "St. Mary's was un- 
doubtedly better than its reputation; today {September 
1988] the opposite may be true." By setting goals that 
seem impossible to fulfill and providing incentives to 
the campus community for surpassing the most op- 
timistic expectations, President Lewis has replaced me- 
diocrity with productivity and dispelled complacency 
with a refreshing new spirit of momentum that is 
infectious. 

In 1983, the number one priority for President 
Lewis and the Board of Trustees was curriculum reform. 



138 



Reaffirming St. Mary's 143-year commitment to liberal 
arts education, the new president wrote that "the cur- 
riculum identifies and defines the institution . . . 
[and] will determine, in fact, how we survive, or il we 
survive." After two years of dedicated effort by faculty, 
administrators, and trustees, the Board on 16 March 
19H5 unanimously approved a new General Studies 
curriculum that the faculty had developed. It was de- 
scribed as a positive change tor the future because it re- 
established contmuity with a traditional past, requiring 
students to complete a sequence ot interrelated core 
courses in the humanities (Western Legacy I and II, In- 
troduction to Literature, and Philosophical Inquiry) 
and to fulfill other specific requirements in English, 
mathematics, arts history, creative expression, and the 
physical, biological, behavioral, and policy sciences. 
Several major field programs were revised as a result ot 
these changes, but four features of Ren Jackson's old 
curriculum have been retained at St. Mary's-the unique 
grouping of academic disciplines into four divisions, 
the unique tour-credit courses, independent studies (tu- 
torials), and internships in oft-campus learning. 

Dr. Robert Strider, past president of Colby College 
and a consultant with the Association of American Col- 
leges, observed that the new curriculum brought St. 
Mary's "into the mainstream of American education" by 



providing more structure, coherence, and focus in the 
liberal arts coursework required of its students. He said 
he "wouldn't be at all surprised if . . . other colleges 
look at St. Mary's when they decide to review their 
programs." The "giant step" that curriculum reform 
represented was recognized in 1987 when the National 
Endowment for the Humanities awarded the College a 
grant ot S17 1,0(J0 to develop its humanities sequence in 
more depth and breadth. At the same time, the Board 
of Trustees authorized new majors in philosophy and 
chemistry and approved a five-year plan for curricular 
enrichment, to include the funding of endowed chairs, 
increases in scholarship and faculty development sup- 
port, and a $2-million endowment h)r library materials. 
Most recent curricular developments include the 
Board's approval of a self-designed major for excep- 
tionally motivated students and the state's sponsorship 
of an eminent scholar's program, beginning with the 
appointment of poet Lucille Clifton as distinguished 
professor of literature for the 1989-1991 academic 
years. 

A revised curriculum would be only as effective as 
the professors who gave it life in the classrooms, and 
sweeping reforms soon addresed faculty morale, attri- 
tion, and compensation. When President Lewis arrived 
in 1983, the St. Mary's faculty was the lowest paid in 



The Poets of St. Mary's 

The peaceful charm and idyllic beauty of the St. 
Mary's campus have always proved conducive to the 
writing of poetry. Mrs. Maria Briscoe Croker, a Semi- 
narian in 1891, was named the first official "Poet Lau- 
reate" of Maryland by Governor J. Millard Tawes in 
1959- Combining her love ot poetry and history, this 
St. Mary's County native published her first poem, 
"Mt. Vernon," in the Baltimore Sun and wrote "Land 
of the Singing Rivers" to commemorate Maryland's 
tercentennial in 1934. Mrs. Croker served as associ- 
ate editor of The Spinners, a New York magazine, and 
was a member of the Poetry Society of America and 
Penwomen. Other Seminary poets were Henrietta 
("Etta") Coston Lockner '92, author of the 1895 
"Alma Mater," and Eleanor B. North, who wrote the 
"Daughters of St. Mary's" in 1944. 

More recently. Professor Michael Glaser has 
placed St. Mary's in the forefront of regional poetry 
during his twenty years at the College. He organized 
the Festival of Poets and Poetry, which has convened 



annually here since 1979, and has run the annual 
Ebenezer Cooke Poetry Festival since 1977. Glaser 
has published two volumes of poetry: A Lover's Eye 
(1989) and (editor) A Cooke Book: A Seasoning of Poets 
(1987), containing selections from the Ebenezer 
Cooke Poetry Festival. Professor Glaser has inspired 
students for two decades by attracting notable poets 
to this campus. In 1981, one of America's leading 
poets, William Meredith, came to St. Mary's as a 
Woodrow Wilson 'Visiting Fellow. He shared his in- 
spiration with the College community and allowed 
The Mulberry Tree Papers to publish three of his poems. 
St. Mary's rich poetic tradition was stimulated 
anew with the recent appointment of Lucille Clifton 
as visiting distinguished professor of literature for 
the 1989-90 and 1990-91 academic years. Ms. 
Clifton's volumes of poetry have thrice been praised 
in Pulitzer Prize citations, and in 1979, she was 
named the state's "Poet Laureate." Formerly a Wood- 
row Wilson Visiting Fellow on campus, she is the 
first Eminent Scholar appointed at St. Mary's under a 
new state program. 



139 



the state system, but in only three years' time, it be- 
came the highest paid among public colleges in Mary- 
land. Between 1983 and 1989, the mean salaries for all 
ranks increased by 70 percent, and in that latter year, 
the average compensation for all ranks rose to $44,600. 
The General Assembly supported large annual increases 
in merit pay because the St. Mary's professors, rated as 
"the finest teaching faculty in the State system" by the 
State Board for Higher Education, had also demon- 
strated an enormous burst of creative energy in research 
and scholarly publications. In a five-year period, nine of 
the seventy-five full-time faculty members had received 
prestigious Fulbright Fellowships for foreign study 
(four in 1984 alone). In addition, the faculty received 
several National Endowment for the Humanities fel- 
lowships, a $250,000 research grant from the National 
Institute of Child Health and Development, and other 
awards. A dramatic mcrease in faculty development 
funds, supplied almost entirely by the St. Mary's Col- 
lege of Maryland Foundation, Inc., supported the 
research of many professors, several of whom have at- 
tained regional, national, and even international recog- 
nition as leading scholars in their disciplines. In 1985, 



Dr. Norton T. Dodge, professor of economics and a for- 
mer trustee (1966-1979), established awards through 
the Foundation to honor faculty members for outstand- 
ing accomplishments in scholarship, teaching, and ser- 
vice to the College. 

The encouragement and support that the admin- 
istration gave to the teaching staff helped end the high 
faculty attrition that had been endemic since the nine- 
teenth century and of epidemic proportions in the 
mid-1970s. By 1988, the mean length of service at St. 
Mary's was 7.4 years for all ranks, with full professors 
averaging 13 years and associate professors 10 years at 
the College. Today, the experienced full-time faculty, 
93 percent of whom hold the highest academic degree 
in their fields, is still youthful by collegiate standards, 
averaging 42 years of age for all ranks and only about 50 
years of age for full professors. Tenure has not returned, 
and increasing numbers of talented young Ph.D.s have 
found that the contract system is no impediment to 
their advancement. 

One important factor in maintaining faculty con- 
tinuity and longevity has been the significant improve- 
ment in the students they teach. Since President Lewis 



Alive with the Sound of Music 



Although the evolution of a music major at St. Mary's 
College did not reach fruition until 1975, musical ex- 
pression has long enriched the campus and surround- 
ing community. The Seminary Junior College Choir 
achieved a strong regional following throughout the 
1950s and 1960s and in March 1949 appeared on an 
early television broadcast (WBAL-TV Baltimore). 
President Renwick Jackson encouraged the formation 
of the now-famous St. Mary's College Jazz Ensemble 
in 1971, under the inspired leadership of Professor 
Bob Levy, who remained its director until 1979. Be- 
cause the College lacked a music major, the first Jazz 
Ensemble supplemented its eight student members 
with eleven community players, including a middle- 
aged Navy officer and an eighth-grade saxophonist 
(John Long) who later became a professional musi- 
cian. The Jazz Ensemble frequently played at na- 
tional invitational music festivals and was the catalyst 
for campus visits by artists like Count Basie, May- 
nard Ferguson, and Stan Kenton. Ensemble alumni 
have presented reunion concerts at Homecoming 
twice in the past ten years. 

In 1972, the St. Mary's music faculty instituted 



The Tidewater Music Festival and Summer Music 
Camp, which has given talented adolescent musi- 
cians the opportunity to study and perform with 
great American composers like Aaron Copland and 
Alec Wilder. This program stimulated the develop- 
ment of a music major at the College in 1975. In 
November 1980, the new major achieved the rare 
distinction of being accredited by, and earning asso- 
ciate membership in, the National Association of 
Schools of Music on its very first application. Acclaimed 
for the quality of its faculty over the years, the music 
program reached a new pinnacle of achievement in 
December 1989 when Brian Ganz, musician in resi- 
dence and head of the piano faculty, was named 
co-winner of the prestigious Marguerite Long Inter- 
national Piano Competition in Paris. The musicians 
of St. Mary's also added a special dimension to the 
150th anniversary on 9 July 1989, when the St. 
Mary's Tidewater Chamber Players premiered 'William 
Thomas McKinley's "When the Moon is Full," a 
composition commissioned by the College in celebra- 
tion of its sesquicentennial, at the Baltimore Mu- 
seum of Art. 



140 



The Sporting "Life" 



St. Mary's, us Seminary, Junior College, and College, 
has regarded sports as recreation, an important ad- 
junct to studies, but only an adjunct. Although the 
school offers intercollegiate competition in several 
varsity sports, it awards no athletic scholarships and 
continues to emphasize intramural activities. 

In competition with other schools, the teams ot 
St. Mary's-known over the years as the "Retrievers," 
the "Saints," and since 1984 as the "Seahawks"- 
have, not surprisingly, fared best in the water sports. 
As the unique feature ol this campus, the St. Mary's 
River has accommodated generations of Seminarians 
and collegians in the enjoyment of swimming, row- 
ing, sailing, and most recently, windsurfing along its 
tranquil shores. The College waterfront took on 
added importance in the life of this school with the 
building of The Boathouse, a gift of the Alumni As- 
sociation in 1964, and the inauguration of the Gover- 
nor's Cup Yacht Race in 1974. The annual August 
yacht race stimulated a growing interest in competi- 
tive sailing at St. Mary's and inspired generous sup- 



porters to donate a veritable fleet of boats to the 
school. The sailing team has been consistently 
ranked as one of the nation's top ten tor the past fif- 
teen years, and St. Mary's varsity sailors have received 
coveted All-American honors four times- Monte 
Spindler and Scott Steele in 1979, Steele again in 
1981, and Pete McChesney in 1986. Steele also won 
the silver medal in board sailing (wind-surfing) at 
the 1984 Summer Olympic Games in Los Angeles. 

The women of St. Mary's, true to the school's 
origins, have likewise distinguished themselves in 
competition. The swimming team has won the 
Chesapeake "Women's Athletic Conference champion- 
ship in each of its three years of competition. Even 
more notable was the performance of Julie Croteau, 
who became a national media celebrity in Spring 
1989 as the first woman to play NCAA varsity base- 
ball. She earned All-Conference Honorable Mention 
as a first "baseman" and was honored as "Sportsman 
of the Week" on the 20 March 1989 Today Show 
broadcast. 



assumed office, the mean composite Scholastic Apti- 
tude Test scores of entering freshmen have risen nearly 
180 points (956 to 1132), giving St. Mary's the highest 
scores among all Maryland public institutions for five 
consecutive years. In the same period, mean SAT scores 
for Honors Program freshmen rose from 1180 to 1350, 
including a one-year increase of 60 points tor the enter- 
ing class in Fall 1989. That tenth anniversary Honors 
class of fourteen contains eleven students who received 
National Merit commendations, indicative of their 
ranking in the top 5 percent of all American students 
taking the SAT, and five of them were also designated as 
Maryland Distinguished Scholars on the basis of excep- 
tionally high grade point averages. 

Early in his administration, Dr. Lewis observed that 
"one of the objectives of the College is to become a mer- 
itocracy and to attract the best students in the State of 
Maryland. " The school in general and the Honors 
Program in particular have taken great strides in accom- 
plishing that goal. But St. Mary's aims to have an excel- 
lent student body with a difference— one that blends 
diversity with quality— by offering educational advan- 
tages to undergraduates of all cultures, colors, creeds, 
and economic conditions. The College can achieve that 
goal because it still embraces a long heritage of afford- 



ability and continues its traditional commitment to 
providing generous merit scholarships. Of the $1.6 
million in total financial assistance that the College 
awarded in 1989-90, 36 percent was in the category of 
merit scholarships-contrary to the prevalent national 
trends. Merit scholarships include, among others, the 
Margaret Brent-Leonard Calvert Fellowships for Honors 
students ($210,000 annually) and the Mathias de Sousa 
Fellowships for minorities ($210,000 annually), both of 
which awarded between $2,000 and $5,900 to each 
successful applicant in 1989-90. The Monument 
School of the People still serves the people well, keep- 
ing Maryland's talented youth in state for their educa- 
tions and providing many first-generation college stu- 
dents of modest means with a true alternative to elite, 
expensive liberal arts institutions. Despite necessary 
increases in tuition, room, board, and fee charges for in- 
state students, from $4,185 in 1983-84 to $6,300 in 
1989-90, St. Mary's remains a bargain in higher educa- 
tion today, especially considering that comparable pri- 
vate colleges cost two to three times as much. 

Impressive progress has been made in both student 
recruitment and student retention as the reputation of 
St. Mary's finally caught up with its momentum. The 
Admissions Office reported a significant increase in the 



141 



number of inquiries from interested students, from 
6,500 m 1983 to 12,000 in 1988. Applications and en- 
rollments have risen correspondingly, as the number of 
full-time students grew from 1,110 to 1,310 in those 
years (1,585 counting part-time students). At the same 
time, however, St. Mary's became much more selective 
in the students it accepted for admission. The College 
accepted 554 (or 79.3 percent) of 699 freshman appli- 
cants in 1983 and 616 (61.5 percent) of 1,002 freshman 
applicants in 1988, but only 507 (39.7 percent) of 
1,277 freshman applicants in 1989- Minority enroll- 
ment for all class years increased to 10. 1 percent of the 
total full-time student body in Fall 1989, with twenty- 
nine black freshmen comprising 12.8 percent of their 
entering class. Only two decades alter the matriculation 
of the first full-time black baccalaureate student in 
1968, there were ninety-one full-time black students at 
St. Mary's. Retention rates tor all students have also im- 
proved dramatically since the disruptive transitions of 
the 1970s. More than 80 percent of full-time freshmen 
now regularly return tor their sophomore year, and the 



College has graduated record numbers of students since 
1983, despite an increasingly rigorous curriculum. Be- 
tween 1983 and 1988, an average of 209 students grad- 
uated each May (some 6 percent with dual degrees), and 
the 246 recipients of bachelor's degrees at the nine- 
teenth baccalaureate commencement in 1989 consti- 
tuted the largest class in St. Mary's history (Altogether, 
3,291 students have graduated since St. Mary's became 
a four-year institution.) 

Higher levels of student retention, as well as stu- 
dent surveys that rate St. Mary's above all other public 
colleges in Maryland, have been directly related to vast 
improvements in campus life. In 1986, the State Board 
for Higher Education and the Department of State 
Planning approved the College's five-year, $29-million 
Master Facilities Plan, which called for the construction 
of townhouse dormitory units, a new science building, 
and an auditorium, and the renovation ot Calvert, Kent, 
and Anne Arundel halls. The overcrowding in the res- 
idence halls that once greeted every entering class 
was alleviated in 1987 with the completion of forty 




The Townhouse Complex and Daughterly -Palmer Commons, dedicated on 23 April 19^^- The townboi/ses provide IniUiDf^ 
for 160 students in forty apartment-style suites, and the Townhouse Green is now the site of commencement. The Commons 
serves as a focal point for campus meetings, concerts, and receptions. 



142 



-^^^ 




The old Library in Calvert Hall, 1925. a gift of Miss Bessie Kibbie of Washington. D.C. . and the neiv Library as it 
will appear when completed in 1990. 



The Growth of the Library 

Unlike lavishly endowed private institutions, St. 
Mary's has suffered an endemic shortage of library 
collections and facilities throughout most of its his- 
tory. The Seminary principal in 1848 "felt [a] great 
need of books to read to the pupils- 1 do not think I 
can continue to furnish them at my own expense. "-A 
century later, the school was still spending an aver- 
age of only $82 per year on new library acquisitions. 
When the State Department of Education reviewed 
the Seminary's collections in 1947, it reported that 
"about half of the [approximately 2,500} books now 
in the Library . . . have no reason for use in the 
school" and advised that all science books more than 
ten years old should be discarded (some dated to 
1911). This prompted the trustees to request an im- 
mediate $5,000 in state funds for the Library, which 
was granted, and to budget $500 "for books only" for 
each of several subsequent years. 

In 1958, the Middle States Association was se- 



verely critical of the inadequate library, which, al- 
though it had moved into more spacious quarters in 
Anne Arundel Hall, still contained only 5,000 vol- 
umes-about half of the minimum required for an ac- 
credited junior college. The only positive note was 
the Maryland Room, which outside evaluators de- 
scribed as "a most noteworthy special collection" and 
"indeed an asset to St. Mary's." 

Although progress was made in acquiring more 
books, when the new Library (Baltimore Hall) 
opened in 1969, St. Mary's still had only 25,000 vol- 
umes-far short of the minimum 100,000 required 
tor a four-year college. The school had not yet 
reached that standard ten years later, when the 
1978-79 catalog listed collections of 85,000 books 
and 1,100 current periodicals. Substantial improve- 
ment has been made in recent years, however, with 
the College collections growing to 104,000 in 1984 
and to 120,000 in 1989. The new Library addition 
will provide the space and the incentive to increase 
holdings to 175,000 by 1994. 



apartment-style suites in the $4.5-million Townhouse 
Complex. This new approach to campus living was 
funded by a special Department of Education loan that 
only eleven colleges in the United States received. But 
the centerpiece of the complex- Daugherty-Palmer 
Commons-was built through the generosity of former 
Trustee Jack Daugherty (served 1964-1966), his wife, 
Kay Palmer Daugherty, and the employees of Maryland 
Bank and Trust Company. In Fall 1989, a striking new 
addition to the Library opened as the first phase of a $7- 
million expansion that will double the space formerly 



available in Baltimore Hall. When the project is com- 
pleted in 1990, the new Library will house a vastly im- 
proved book collection, which has grown from about 
25,000 to almost 125,000 volumes in two decades, as 
well as centralized data processing facilities, an ex- 
panded audio-visual department, a new learning skills 
laboratory, the College's first computerized card catalog 
system, and the venerable "Maryland Room" collection 
of historical materials, as mandated by the Monument 
School's founding legislation in 1840. 

The quality of life at St. Mary's dramatically improved 



143 



in the decade of the 1980s, thanks to the genetous sup- 
port of private and corporate donors. Successful urban 
entrepreneurs like Meredith Capper and Joseph A. 
Waldschmitt retired to the solitude of St. Mary's 
County, recognized the vast potential of its College, and 
actively served the school as directors of "The Founda- 
tion." The St. Mary's College of Maryland Foundation 
has helped fulfill one of President Lewis's primary objec- 
tives—to increase annual giving and to create a large 
endowment that would facilitate and accelerate the at- 
tainment of institutional excellence. Annual giving, 
which totaled only $85,120 in 1985, increased almost 
500 percent to $409,168 in 1988. Contributions of all 
types, including gifts of personal computers from the 
Epson Corporation, bequests, and donations of sailboats 
and artwork, exceeded $1 million in the 1988-89 aca- 
demic year, nearly a five-fold increase since 1982-83- 
Less than two decades ago, the largest single endow- 
ment at St. Mary's was the Martha ("Mattie") Maddox 
Key Legacy- $12, 200 that had been willed to the 
school in 1944 by a Seminary alumna whose father 
(George Frederick Maddox) and husband (Joseph Harris 
Key) had both been trustees. Since the creation of the 
Foundation in 1972, however, the College has received 
substantial and on-going financial support from the 
Zachariah D. Blackistone Trust (the largest bequest in 



school history), the Cremona Foundation, the France 
Foundation, the Philip L. Graham Fund, Maryland Na- 
tional Bank, and many other institutional and corporate 
contributors. 

In this sesquicentennial year, the College has initi- 
ated a $10.75 million Capital Campaign-the first in its 
history. To raise those funds for vital projects in the sec- 
ond half of its second century, St. Mary's College will 
have to enlarge its "extended family" of alumni and par- 
ents and reach out to the vast numbers of local citizens 
who have benefited from the school's sponsorship of 
continuing education programs, summer courses, the- 
atrical productions, learning vacations, scholarly sym- 
posia, music festivals, and other special activities. Crit- 
ical, too, will be the support from the President's 
Council-the twenty-seven prominent advisers who 
have given freely of their time, expertise, and financial 
resources to assist the College since 1986. Of course, 
the College's own trustees, who have been so critical to 
the dramatic progress in all areas, remain its most 
steadfast supporters. Remaining independent after yet 
another challenge to disband it in 1988-89, the Board 
of Trustees has been a valuable resource for fund-raising 
and policy-making under the recent chairmanships of 
Eleanor Digges Harrington of Cambridge (1981- 
1986), the first chairlady in history; Rupert G. Curry of 



The Science Building Controversy 



After two years of preparing a new master plan for 
campus expansion with the apparent support of the 
St. Mary's City Commission and local citizens. Col- 
lege officials in the summer of 1989 were confronted 
by a sudden and united opposition to the proposed 
location of the new $12-million science building. Ac- 
cording to architect Jacquelin Robertson's plan for an 
academic "tidewater village," the new science center 
was designed to occupy the hill adjoining Charles 
Hall and Baltimore Hall (Library) as a key compo- 
nent of a more cohesive and centralized campus. But 
site selection was criticized as being destructive of 
the important archaeological, historical, environ- 
mental, and aesthetic features of that location, 
known as "Gallows Green" in the seventeenth cen- 
tury capital. The College commissioned a more in- 
tensive archaeological analysis of the site, and its 
Board of Trustees appointed an ad hoc committee to 
arrive at a recommendation. This committee spon- 
sored several meetings and public forums with 
critics, most notably the Historic St. Mary's City 



Rescue Coalition, directed by Michael Lynch, a 1981 
St. Mary's graduate. After learning that the proposed 
construction site may contain the remains of the first 
Protestant church in Maryland, and following some 
three hours of testimony critical of College plans on 
20 July, St. Mary's President Edward T. Lewis de- 
cided to choose another location for the science cen- 
ter. In January 1990, it was announced that the pres- 
ent Somerset Hall parking lot along Fisher's Road 
would most likely be the new site for the building. 
Although the alteration of the architect's master plan 
and the delay in breaking ground for the much- 
needed new facility had proven costly, the Monu- 
ment School had fulfilled its duty to preserve the 
"sacred precincts" of the ancient capital. "As a col- 
lege committed to the preservation of this special 
place," observed President Lewis, "we can do noth- 
ing less. " St. Mary's College can be proud of the local 
alumni from three generations who challenged its de- 
cisions and conscientiously upheld enduring princi- 
ples they learned as students. 



144 



Rockville (1986- 1988), the first black trustee; and Ed- 
ward O. Clarke, Jr., of Baltimore (1988-present). 

Forever Ynioig—The Magic oj St. Mary's 
A certain magical vitality has returned to the old school 
and new College as it celebrates its 150th anniversary. 
The over-crowded parking lots and the bustle at con- 
struction sites contrast greatly with the solitude of the 
campus woodlands and the broad, quiet waters ot the 
St. Mary's River. The past six years have been a period ot 
unparalleled achievements that may well be regarded as 
a golden age by subsequent generations. In 1984, the 
Middle States Association of Colleges and Secondary 
Schools expressed no reservations in reaccrediting St. 
Mary's, observing that it had become a "more cohesive, 
vital, and on-the-move college community that is, in a 
sense, a new college." A year later, the Maryland De- 
partment ot Budget and Fiscal Planning agreed with 
College officials that St. Mary's was "a distinctive col- 
lege, with a distinctive student body and an outstand- 
ing faculty." Large funding increases have been the 
result of the state's new pride in its oldest educational 
institution, and bigger budgets have, in turn, helped 
generate more momentum than ever. As this book went 
to press, it was announced that the state was planning 
to increase the College's operating budget by $3-4 
million over the next three fiscal years (on top of an 8.6 
percent annual increase to $9.7 million for the 1990-9 1 
academic year), which will allow St. Mary's to expand 
its taculty dramatically. 

Few colleges are fortunate enough to celebrate a ma- 
jor anniversary just when things are going well. How- 
ever, this sesquicentennial, in its sweeping look at the 
past, reminds us that the present success of St. Mary's is 
no accident, but rather the product of people, policies, 
and programs over the course ot five generations. The 
infectious spirit ot progressive change has been present 
before at this special school, with its uncanny capacity 
to survive adversity and to exceed the most ambitious 
expectations. President Lewis deserves considerable 
praise tor bringing St. Mary's to 1990 in such excellent 
shape, but the momentum he has generated and the 
glowing image of the school that he has nurtured still 
draw inspiration from Lucy Maddox's traditional Semi- 
nary, Adele France's Junior College, May Russell's beau- 
titul buildings, and Renwick Jackson's idealistic vi- 
sions. To his credit. Dr. Lewis has appreciated the varied 
legacies of this old school and identified the best of 
them for preservation and promotion in the College of 
the future. 

Those who have observed St. Mary's College over 
the past tour decades realize that the school of today is 



the result ot evolution, not revolution. However, many 
outside observers, with little knowledge ot the school's 
long heritage, imply that the College recently burst 
forth, fully developed, out ot nowhere to serve as a val- 
uable model of an alternative, attordable liberal arts 
education tor the twenty-first century. In addition to 
Edward Fiske's Seiectwe Guide to Colleges (1982) and his 
even more laudatory Best Buys in College Education, pub- 
lished three years later. Dr. Martin Nemko issued high 
praise to St. Mary's based on his experience as an admis- 
sions director and nationwide research on colleges. His 
book, How to Get An Ivy League Education at a State Uni- 
versity (1988), advised that "if you want a decent copy of 
an elite New England private liberal arts college that 
will cost $50,000 less than the original, SMC is worth 
remembering." The 26 October 1987 V .S. Neivs and 
World Report special issue on "America's Best Colleges" 
ranked St. Mary's sixth among regional liberal arts col- 
leges in the northeast, based upon a survey ot university 
presidents and observed that it "fills a special niche . . . 
offering an intimacy not tound in most taxpayer- 
supported schools." Two years later, the IJ .S. Neus and 
World Report 1990 College Guide issue of 16 October 1989 
ranked St. Mary's first among the seventy-tour regional 
liberal arts colleges it surveyed in the northeast, based 
on academic reputation, student selectivity, retention 
patterns, faculty quality, and financial resources. The 
magazine's evaluators wrote: "By remaining small and 
devoting itself exclusively to the liberal arts, St. Mary's 
manages to achieve the look and feel ot a more elite pri- 
vate institution. . . . And because it is a state school, 
St. Mary's does all of this at bargain prices." 

St. Mary's College of Maryland was not the benefici- 
ary of such laudatory national publicity before 1982; in- 
deed, it struggled to be known within the borders of 
Maryland as a four-year, coeducational, public college of 
the liberal arts. Now the goals and expectations are 
boundless, as President Lewis has promised a continua- 
tion of the frantic pace of progress until St. Mary's is 
regarded as "one of the best colleges- not simply in 
Maryland, or in the mid-Atlantic, but in the entire 
country." To attain goals that so recently seemed unat- 
tainable, all members of the College community "will 
have to hold ourselves to even greater expectations and 
higher standards." 

But that has always been the case at St. Mary's. 
Complacency has rarely characterized this College, 
where constant change and the quest for ever-greater 
challenges are traditions. This new College with the old 
school ties has appreciated the excitement, energy, and 
expectations of adventuresome pioneers generation alter 
generation. St. Mary's has always been the living monu- 



145 



^^^^^ 



Ever Forward 



We have reason to he pleased with what we have accom- 
plished. We have established significantly higher standards 
across every sector of the College— from the curriculum to ac- 
ademic and administrative planning, from fiscal manage- 
ment to plant development, from fund-raising to student ac- 
tivities. Because of . . . what you {the faculty} have done, 
we are a much better College. There is, in fact, reason to 
celebrate the 130th anniversary of St. Mary's College in 
1990 because we have a lot to celebrate. And. no doubt, a 
major part of this cause for celebration is the work of the 
faculty. 

{But} the work before us is even more difficult and per- 
haps more pressing. Whereas several years ago St. Mary's 
was undoubtedly better than its reputation, today the op- 
posite may be true. Having achieved so much in the past 
several years and having been acclaimed so much for our 
achievements, the public's perception of the College is, I be- 
lieve, larger than life. 

All this is to say that St. Mary's is— as we all so well 
know— an institution in transition. The acceptable levels of 
performance of several years ago are no longer good enough. 
We are, in brief, noiv driven by our own success, by our 
enhanced reputation. It is a given in higher education that 
if we do not ask more of ourselves, we give less; that if we do 
not, as a college, move forward, we will fall behind. That is 
why we have worked so hard during the past several years to 
improve the curriculum, to attract better students, to con- 
struct neiv facilities, to build a better Board, and to increase 
faculty support and salaries in order to recruit and retain 
the best in our profession. 

So when I describe this new imperative, I certainly do 
not mean to sound an ominous note. Because I think, in fact, 



that ive should freely celebrate what we have accomplished 
and be glad that momentum . . . drives us toward greater 
achievement and a reputation solidly founded on substance 
and worth. I can think of no better ivay to celebrate the 
founding anniversary of this special College. 

-Source: Excerpts from an address to the faculty and staff 
by President Edward T. Lewis, 1 November 1988. 




Dr. Edward T. (Ted) Lewis, president of St. Mary's 
College of Maryland, IJuly 1985— present. 



ment it was originally intended to be, kept alive and 
forever young by the process of nurturing, and being 
nurtured by, youth. Ageless vitality epitomizes this 
place. The seventeenth-century bricks in the walls of 
the Alumni Lodge once reverberated with the voices of 
colonial legislators in Maryland's old capitol building. 
But those bricks were not discarded due to age; they 
were reused time and again because they were needed to 
serve the present and future- in the carriage house of 
the Female Seminary of the 1800s, in the alumnae guest 
house of the 1920s, in the home economics cottage of 
the 1930s- 1940s, in the president's residence of the 



1950s— 1960s, and in the current alumni guest house. 
Ageless vitality also epitomizes the people who have 
embraced St. Mary's and been embraced by it. One of 
these people was Annie ("Lizzie") Thomas Lilburn, who 
arrived on campus as a girl of thirteen, graduated at sev- 
enteen, became principal at twenty-one, retired at 
thirty-five, and continued to live in the shadow of Cal- 
vert Hall, still serving her alma mater, until her death 
at age seventy-six. Another of those vital, ageless peo- 
ple was Virginia ("Gina") Cross Blackistone Leopard, 
who graduated from Miss France's new Junior College 
in 19.35 and received her B.A. from St. Mary's College 



146 




The St. Mary's alumni did not wait long to string this congratulatory banner across Route 3 following the 16 October 1989 
publication of the U.S. News and World Report 1990 College Guide. 



of Maryland in 19H0-in between serving as the alumni 
director and unofficial cheerleader for a special school of 
two eras. 

Ageless vitality has brought St. Mary's to this spe- 
cial anniversary. Amid countless crises and challenges, 
the school refused to abandon its founding principles 
for the mere sake of survival or to preserve the less rele- 
vant elements of its heritage if it meant certain extinc- 
tion. It is this institution's special, successful blending of 
continuity and change, tradition and innovation, that 
we celebrate and applaud in this sesquicentennial year. 
Recently, the chorus of praise for the innovativeness of 
St. Mary's has grown larger and louder. To be an excel- 
lent but affordable, small and personable, state-owned 
liberal arts college might be recent developments at 
some schools, now called "public ivys," but that unique 
combination of characteristics has existed here for 150 
years. If St. Mary's College of Maryland is worthy of 
praise in 1990, it is because the radical, seemingly fan- 
ciful dreams ot 1840 were profoundly valid and excep- 
tionally vital. The Monument School of the People has 
reached the milestone of 150 years younger than ever, be- 
cause it has kept faith with its unique heritage and 
founding philosophy on its original, historic campus-a 
significant site of constant reminders that the past is 
present for the future. 




Miss Lucy Franklin Spedden. Stnmhiv] L/jss of 
epitome of ageless vitality. 



147 




From a bend in the road we first saw the river 

Where we would sunbathe, study, learn to wait 

For crabs to grab the bait 

Ideas to grab our minds. Sailboats point always 

To the wind, the river gives us strength, renews. 

We begin and then begin again. 

Here at this place oj beginnings, we leave 
Shadows on the nurturing shore. 
This bend in our lives. St. Mary's 

The river, the nurturing shore. 

"The Nurturing Shore" copyrighted © 1983 by Professor 
Michael Glaser of St. Mary's College. 



148 



A Note on Sources 



Despite the lack ot footnotes or endnotes, Mimiimetit Schiiol iij the People 
is a factually accurate account based on extensive primary and secondary 
sources. A fully annotated copy of the book will permanently reside in the 
Special Collections of the St. Mary's College Library for consultation by 
future generations of researchers. 

The most complete and essential primary source for this book was the 
Board of Trustees Minutes. The first five volumes (I: 27 October 1845-17 
May 1854; II: 24 March 1870-December 1898; III: 20 March 1899-16 
October 1916; IV: June 1918-September 1941; V: September 1941- 
September 1956) are deposited in the Maryland State Archives, Annapo- 
lis, cataloged under "St. Mary's Female Seminary. " The College Library has 
microfilm and photocopies of these, and the original Board Minutes since 
6 October 1956 remain on campus, in the keeping of the President's Of- 
fice. The only significant gap in this 145-year record is unfortunately for 
the critical decade of the 1860s, which hampers our understanding of the 
Civil War in Southern Maryland. Sadly, too, the Board of Trustees Min- 
utes never mentioned graduates prior to the first official commencement in 
1874, and that omission, coupled with the destruction of old student files 
in the Calvert Hall fire of 1924, has obscured the identity of the earliest 
Seminarians. The best sources of information on alumnae prior to 1900 are 
the listings of graduates in catalogs and commencement programs, the St. 
Mary's Seminary junior College Neu'sletter, published in Spring 1950 and 
quickly superceded by the Alumni Newsletter (1950- ), and The Mulberry 
Tree Papers {\97 2- ). 

The late nineteenth- and twentieth-century newspapers of Southern 
Maryland give valuable perspectives on the growth of St. Mary's, and an 
incomparable view of campus life is contained in the several collections of 
student ne'Kspapers-The Seminary Signal {October 192.S-1940), TheSignal 
Neus (October 1940-1948), The RippleslTidal Wave (September 1948- 
June 1949), Signal Neus (September 1949-June 1959), Point Neus 
(September 1959/September 1970-May 197.^), St. Mary's College Empaih 
(October 197.^-January 1982), The Empath (15 February/28 September 
1982-4 December 1984), and The Point News (29 January 1985- ). This 
history was also enriched by reference to a large collection of St. Mary's 
catalogs-one dating to 1858 and the rest forming an almost unbroken 
sequence since 1895. Despite such extensive printed materials, this book 
could not have been written without the many rare manuscripts, photo- 
graphs, clippings, files, artifacts, scrapbooks, and student memorabilia 
that were loaned to the project by generations of alumni. Those former 
students and their descendants are truly too numerous to mention individ- 
ually, but they all have my inestimable gratitude for showing such devo- 
tion to their alma mater 

The other major sources for Monument School of the People include: 

Chapter I 

Matthew Page Andrews, The Founding of Maryland {New York, 19.^.^). 

William Hand Browne, ed., Anhiies of Maryland. 72 vols. (Baltimore, 
188.1- ). 

Lois Green Carr and David W. Jordan, Maryland's Reinh/tion tf Government. 
1689-1692 (Ithaca, 1973). 

Lois Green Carr and Russell R. Menard, guest editors, "St. Mary's City 
Commission Special Issue," Maryland Historical Magazine. LXIX, No. 2 
(Summer 1974). 

Lois Green Carr, Philip D. Morgan, Jean B. Russo, eds.. Colonial 
Chesapeake Society, Institute of Early American History and Culture 
(Chapel Hill, 1988). 

J. Frederick Fausz, guest editor, "Fresh Perspectives on Maryland's Past: 
The Seventeenth-Century Experience," .350th Anniversary Issue o( Mary- 
land Historical Magazine. LXXIX, No. 1 (Spring 1984). 

J. Frederick Fausz, "The Secular Context of Religious Toleration in Mary- 



land," Maryland 350th Anniversary Lectures (Baltimore: Loyola College, 
1984). 

Captain Henry Fleet, "A Breife Journal of A voyage made . . . to Virginia 
and other partes of the Continent of America Anno 1631, " 22 February 
1631732, MS 688/19, Lambeth Palace Library, London. 

Henry Chandlee Forman.Jamestou n and St. Mary's: Buried Cities of Romance 
(Baltimore, 1938). 

Clayton Colman Hall, ed.. Narratives of Early Maryland. 1633-1684 
(New York, 1910). 

J A. Leo Lemay, Men of Letters in Colonial Maryland (Knoxvilk, 1972). 

Henry M. Miller, Discovering Maryland's First City: A Summary Report On the 
198 1 - 1984 Archaeological Excavations in St. Mary's City. Maryland. Archae- 
ology Series No. 2 (St. Mary's City Commission, 1986). 

Henry M. Miller and Julia A. King, guest editors, "Exploring a 'Splendid 
and Delightsome' Land," special Southern Maryland issue of Historical Ar- 
chaeology: Journal of the Society for Historical Archaeology. XXII, No. 2 
(1988). 

Edward C. Papenfuse, ed. , A Biographical Dictionary of the Maryland Legis- 
lature, 1635-1789, 2 vols. (Baltimore, 1979, 1985). 



Chapters II-IV 

Edwin W. Beitzell, "Early Schools of Southern Maryland," Chronicles of 
St. Mary's: Monthly Bulletin of the St. Mary's County Historical Society. V, 
No. 3 (March 1957), 29-38. 

John S. Brubacher and Willis Rudy, Higher Education in Transition (New 
York, 1958). 

Robert J Brugger, Maryland: A Middle Temperament. 1634-1980 (Balti- 
more, 1988). 

George H. Callcott, A History of the University of Maryland (.Bakimorf:, 
1966). 

Clippings File, "St. Mary's Female Seminary, " Maryland Room, The 
Enoch Pratt Free Library, Baltimore. 

Clippings File, "St. Mary's Female Seminary, " Library Reading Room, 
The Maryland Historical Society, Baltimore. 

Lawrence A. Cremin, American Education: The Colonial Experience. 1607— 
1783 (New York, 1970); American Education: The National Experience, 
1783-1876 (New York, 1980); Traditions of American Education (New York, 
1977). 

Charles A. Doub, "The History of Education in Saint Mary's County, 
Maryland, Prior to 1900" (unpublished M.A. Thesis, University of Mary- 
land, 1939), chap. VI. 

R, S. Fisher, Gazeteer of the State of Maryland. 1852 (Baltimore, 1852). 

Eleanor Flexner, Century of Struggle: The Woman's Rights Movement in the 
United States (Cumbndge, Mass., 1959, 1975). 

Family/Genealogy Files, St. Mary's County Historical Society, Leonardtown. 

Regina Combs Hammett, History of St. Mary's County. Maryland (K\<^gt:, 
1977). 

Helen Lefkowitz Horowitz, Alnui Mater: Design and Experience in the 
Women's Colleges from Their Nineteenth-Century Beginnings to the 1950s 
(Boston, 1984). 

(Jeremiah L. Hughes], Maryland Pocket Annual for 1839: for 1840: for 1841; 
for 1842 (Annapolis), 



150 



Emily Regina Jones, The City of St. Manes, Maryland: A Story and Personal 
Recollections, ed. Eugene and Jean G. Rea (St. Mary's City, 1982). 

John P. Kennedy, Rob of the Bowl: A Legend of St. Inigoe's, ed. William S. 
Osborne, Masterworks of Literature Series (New Haven, 1965). 

Edgar W. Knight, ed. , A Documentary History of Education in the South Be- 
fore 1860. 5 vols. (Chapel Hill, 1950). 

Laus of the General Assembly of Maryland, Maryland State Library, Annapolis. 

Jeanne Payne Murphy, "St. Mary's Junior College: Education in an Unsur- 
passed Setting" (typescript. The Johns Hopkins University, May I960). 

Philodemic Society of Georgetown College, Oration Delivered at the First 
Commemoration of the Landing of the Pilgrims of Maryland, Celebrated May 10, 
1842 (Baltimore, 1842); Oration Delivered at the Second Commemoration of the 
Landing of the Pilgrims of Maryland, Celebrated May 15 , 1849 ■ . . (Balti- 
more, 1849)- in the collections of The Enoch Pratt Free Library, 
Baltimore. 



Morris L. Radoff, ed., The Old Line State: A History of Maryland (Ann^po- 
lis, 1971). 

Beverly Redman, '"Nothing Abashed Me!'," The Mulberry Tree Papers, 
XIV, No. 1 (Winter 1988-89), 10-17. 

Whitman H. Ridgway, Community Leadership in Maryland, 1790-1840 
(Chapel Hill, 1979). 

David H. Wallace, "Alumni Album: M. Adele France," Washington College 
Alumnus 6 Bulletin (May-Aug. 1948), 7. 

Frank F White, Jr., The Governors of Maryland, 1777-1970 (Annapolis, 
1970). 

John M. Whitmore, "Trial By Fire," The Mulberry Tree Papers (Spring 
1981), 8-11. 

Thomas Woody, A History of Women's Education in the United States, 2 vols. 
(New York, 1929, repr 1974). 



Pholo Credits: 



Baltimore Sun, p. 86; A. Aubrey Bodine, pp. 38, 97; Christine C. 
Cihlar, p. 147; Frank Entrekin Studio, pp. 10, 22; Dave Roche- 
Shutterbug, pp. 48, 50, 95, 116. 1.^5, 146; Clifton Smith, pp. 115, 



117, 121, 124, 126, 127, 131, 132, 133; Marion E. Warren, pp. 17, 31, 
53, 71, 88, 102-105; Chris Witzgall, p. 15, 20, 136. Front cover: 
Matthew Anable. 150th Logo: Angela R. Costa. 



151 



Edward J. Meany 



Eliza M. Ohr 

with Rebecca R. Hough-one year as co-pnncipal 

Margaret Nealy 

Eliza Gillespie 

Mary Blades 

Ellen Green 

"The Hiatus"-School probably closed, September 1854-late 1857 

Mary Blades, co-principal with 

Madame Despommiers (probably did not serve) 

Lottie Leigh [Gardiner?] 

Mrs. Trimble, Treble, or Trible 

Lucy L. Gardiner 

Mary Gardiner 

Lottie L. Gardiner and Henrietta K. Tilghman 

Mrs. James R. (Jeannette) Thomas 

Annie Elizabeth Thomas (after 189^. Mrs. John G Lilburn) 

Laurel Richardson Langley 

Mrs. Lucy Virginia Maddox 

Mary Adele France 



Appendix A: 
The Principals and Presidents of St. Mary's, 1846-1990 

Principals of St. Mary's Female Seminary 

2 April 1846-14 December 1846 
March 1847-8 May 1851 



September 1851-August 1852 

4 August 1852 (elected, did not serve) 

21 September 1852-July 1853 

10 August 1853-1 August 1854 

September 1858-August :•■ 1860 

1860-1862' 

April 1862- August 1862 
August 1862-August 1869 
August 1869-August 1870 
September 1870-August 1872 
September 1872-November 1881 
November 188 1-30 June 1895 
August 1895-August 1900 
August 1900-June 1923 
30 June 1923-May 1937 



fired 
fired 



resigned 
resigned 

resigned.* 



resigned 

died in office 

resigned 

resigned 

resigned 

continued 



Mary Adele France 
Louise K. Rotha (acting 
Dr. Anna May Russell 



Presidents of St. Mary's Female Seminary -Junior Collet 
May 1937-30 June 1948 
February- 30 June 1948 
1 July 1948-30 May 1964 



resigned 
resigned 
continued 



Dr. Anna May Russell 

Dr. J. Renwick Jackson, Jr 

Dr. Richard D. Weigle (Interim President) 

Dr. Edward T. Lewis 



Presidents oj St. Mary's College of Maryland 
1 June 1964-30 June 1969 
IJuly 1969-6 February 1982 
6 February 1982-30 June 1983 
IJuly 198 3 -Present 



resigned 
resigned 
resigned 



152 



Col. Cornelius Combs 
Dr. Caleb M. Jones 
John White Bennett 
Col. William R. Coad 
James T. Blackistone 
Dr. Joseph F. Shaw 



Appendix B: 
Members of the St. Mary's Board of Trustees, 1840-1990 

Trustees of the Female Seminary-Original Board, 18401 4^ -December 1857 



1840-1857 Lottery Commissioner 

1840-1857 Lottery Commissioner 

1840-1857 Lottery Commissioner 

1845-1857 a "Founder" (1839-1840) 

1845-1852 a "Founder" ( 1839- 1840) 

1845- 1857 a "Founder" ( 1839- 1840) 



William Biscoe 
Dr. William J Edelen 
Benedict I. Heard 
Henry G. S. Key 
Thomas Loker 
Henry Sewall 
William L. Smith 



1845- 
1845- 
1845- 
1845- 
1845- 
1845- 
1845- 



1857.> 

1857.' 

1847 

1857? 

1857? 

1853 

1847 



James C. Milburn 
James Richardson 
Edmund I. Plowden 
Dr. James D. Sutton 
Richard H. Reeder 
William Biscoe 
Henry J. Carroll 



1846-1857? 
1847-1849 
1847-1857? 
1849-1850 
1850-1857? 
1851-1857? 
1853-1857 



The Reconstituted Second Board, February 1858-June 1941 



Dr. John Mackall Bromc 
George W Morgan 
Benjamin Tippett 
John B. Abell 
Chapman Billingsley 
John E. Carpenter 
James Kemp Jones 
Charles Medley 
George H. Morgan 
Henry C. Neale 
James Shemwell 
Dr. James Waring 
William Watts 
James T. Yates 
George Frederick Maddox 
James R. Langley 
Edward S. Abell 
W. B. Chunn 
Lewis C. Combs 
James T. Morgan Raley 
Benjamin Gwinn Harris 
John A. Camalier 



1858-1887 

1858-1884 

1858-1876 

1858-1886 

1858-1874 

1858-1886 

1858-1868? 

1858-1873 

1858-1870 

1858-1880 

1858-1869 

1858-1882 

1858-1870? 

1858-1874 

1866?- 1872 

1870?- 1886 

1870-1889 

1870-1875 

1870-1899 

1872-1895 

1872-1895 

1874-1892 



Robert T. Barber 
Logan O. Smith 
Richard Bennett 
Joseph H. Key 
Noble L. Penn 
Richard H. Garner 
James Thomas Parsons 
Col. Sydney T Wailes 
James F. Abell 
J. Walter Carpenter 
J. Parran Crane 
J. Marshall Dent 
B. Harris Camalier 
John A. B. Shermantine 
Giles F. Dyer 
Daniel C. Hammett 
R. H. Bennett 
Joseph Henry Jones 
Thomas F. Fox well 
Charles Abell 
John H. Parsons 
Zachary R. Morgan 



1875-1896 

1876-1882 

1876-1881 

1882-1917 

1882-1914 

1883-1904 

1885-1899 

1886-1894 

1887-1898 

1887-1898 

1888-1912 

1891-1926 

1892-1936 

1894-1920 

1895-1923 

1896-1919 

1896- 1903:^ 

1897-1901 

1898-1920 

1899-1923 

1899-1909 

1899-1918 



Stephen M. Jones 
Alfred G. Sanner 
J. Thomas Brome 
C. Benedict Greenwell 
Charles S. Grason 
Henry C. Dent 
George L. Buckler 
Samuel Hayden 
Arthur C. Combs 
Dr. Levin J. Sothoron 
Alexander Stevens 
Stephen T. Foxwell 
Henry G. Garner 
]. Allan Coad 
Lawrence P. Williams 
T. Raymond Dixon 
C. Ethelbert Abell 
Dr. Robert V. Palmer 
Dr. Levin J. Sothoron 
Philip Ford Combs, Jr. 
Richard H. Pembroke 
C. Benedict Greenwell 
G. Frank Dent 



1901-1941 
1904-1941 
1904-1910 
1909-1934 
1910-1941 
1912-1937 
1915-1941 
1917-1933 
1918-1933 
1920-1922 
1920-1926 
1921-1935 
1923-1935 
1923-1941 
1923-1941 
1923-1941 
1929-1941 
1929-1941 
1933-1941 
1934-1941 
1936-1941 
1937-1941 
1937-1941 



Reconstituted Third Board of Trustees, 
24 September 1941— Present 



Stephen M. Jones 
Lawrence P. Williams 
T. Raymond Dixon 
C. Ethelbert Abell 
Dr. Robert V. Palmer 
Dr. Levin J. Sothoron 
Mrs. George L. Ewalt, Jr 
R. Ames Hendrickson 
Rev. James M. Magruder 
Mrs. Lansdale G. Sasscer 
Mrs. J. Kemp Stevens 
Mrs. Felix E. Wathen 
R. Bascom Broun, Jr 
Edward P. Early 
J. Donelan Hurry 
George L. Radcliffe 
J Spence Howard 
Mrs. W. Lee Hoke 
Mrs. Felix E. Boone 
Edward K. Wheeler 

• Chairperson of Board a Alu 



1941-1942 + 
1941-1952 + 
1941-1945 + 
1941-1964 + 
1941-1954 + 
1941-1959 + 
1941-1977 + 
1941-1949 
1941-1947 
1941-1960 a 
1941-1948 
1941-1952 a 
1942-1969 
1948-1964 
1948-1952 
1949-1969 
1949-1950 
1951-1954 a 
1952-1979 
1954-1955 



Kent Roberts Mullikin 
William Aleck Loker 
Admiral Felix Johnson 
Dr Blane H. Eig 
Mrs. Robert Renshaw 
Mrs. Lettie Dent Gough 
Mrs. William S. Morsell, Jr. 
Mrs. Calvin (Eleanor Digges) 

Harrington, Jr. 
John T Daugherty 
Henry R Walters 
Mrs. Esther Coopersmith 
J Frank Raley, Jr. 
Dr. Norton T. Dodge 
Frank J. Barley 
Philip H. Dorsey, Jr. 
Dr. Merriam H. Trytten 
Charles E. Williams 
T. Hammond Welsh, Jr 
Rupert G. Curry 



1956-1969 Dr. Richard D. Weigle 1976-Present 

1956-1974 R. Douglas Mathias 1977-1987 a 

1956-1967 Mrs. William R Chaffinch 1977- 1986 a 

1957-1962 M. Wayne Munday 1977-1986 

1959- 1960 Dr. Clementine L. Kaufman 1979- 1986 

1960-1965 a Redmond C. S. Finney 1980-1985 

1960-1982 Meyer M. Emanuel, Jr. 1982-1987 

1962-Present Edward Owen Clarke, Jr • 1983-Present 

Earle Palmer Brown 1985- 1989 

1964-1966 Mrs. Molly Bruce Jacobs 1985-1987 

1964-1971 Ambassador Paul H, Nitze 1985-Present 

1966-1985 General Andrew J Goodpaster 1987-Present 

1967-Present John R. Petty 1987-Present 

1967-1979 Sharon Pratt Dixon 1987-1988 

1969-1975 Gilbert Gude 1987-Present 

1969-1976 J Blacklock Wills 1987-Present 

1969-1977 Honorable Benjamin Cardin 1988-Present 

197 1- 1974 John T Connor, Jr. 1988-Present 

1975-1985 Bernard C. Trueschler 1 988 - Present 

1975-1989 Robert B. Watts 1990- 



+ Trustees reappointed in 1941 



153 



Appendix C: 
Graduates of the "Missing Years, 



1874- 1904 



1874- 
1876- 
1877- 

1878 
1880 



1881 
1882 
1883 



1884 
1885 



1886 



1887 
1889 



-Sallie Brome Morsell 
-Harriet Dallam Webster 
-Annie E. Thomas 

Vallie S. Weagley 
-Mattie L. Carson 
-Maggie A. Andrews 

Mamie Meddars 

Victoria Roe 

Jeannette Brome Thomas 
-Lizzie Blackistone 

Clare Thomas 
-Ruth Carey 

Li Hie Staplefort 
-Nellie Bourne 

Juha Hayden 

Hortense deBeauharnais Mellier 

Ida Millmder 

Mamie Belle Rizer 
-Emma Estelle Marshall 
-Emma Jane Griffith 

Mary Elizaberh Revell 
-Edith E. Black 

Harriet Anne Blackistone 

Carrie Chamberlaine 

Adelia E. Ellis 

Addie Hammond 

Sadie Hollingsworth 

Katie Polk 
-Lola Wood Garner 
-Delia Burch 

Annie Harwell 

Lulu Martin 

Maggie Smith 

Nannie Wallis 



Bessie Waring 
Elba Hams Wright 

1890-Annie Dare Wilson 

Katherine Spencer Crane 

1891 -Olive Bohanan 

Carherine Ripley Watson 

1892-Elizabeth Nairn Broughton 
Henrietta Porter Cosron 
Roberta Long Dickey 
Clara Virginia Jones 
Miriam Poe 
Alice Belle Reid 
Jennie Maria Smirh 
-Julia Elise Keating 
-Mary Blanche Hayward 
Margarer Elizabeth Turner 
-Beulah Rebecca Arnold 
Virginia Flercher Brewer 
Alice Anna Deckman 
Belle Xenia Gatch 
Angle May Hayward 
Ellen Ewell McGregor 
Minnie Lee Penington 
Alice Talmage Robertson 

1897-Susie LaRoche 

May Eva Walters 

1898-Sara Elizabeth Cruikshank 
Esther Schilling 
Clara Frances Ward 

1900-EmiIy Clayton Bishop 
Ella Carter Hodgson 
Ruth Jourdan 



1893 
1894 



1895 



1901 -Florence Crawford Bounds 
Sadie B. Bridges 
Clara Blanche Coppersmith 
Sue Edgerton Davis 
Grace Linwood Gibson 
Nina Virgina Marrior 
Gertrude Elizabeth Moxey 
Helen Blakford Shermantine 

1902-Mary Brighton Dougherty 
Grace Sweeney McKenny 
Ella Rochbrume Perry 
Edith May Stevens 
Anna Allen Stevenson 

1903-May Peterson Broome 
Anna Elizabeth Butler 
Mary Remington Coppage 
Mary Lillia Dent 
Hettie McFarland 
Florence Amy Mellor 
Lula Conway Price 
Ella Mae Rheburger 
Mary Mclntyre Wilson 

1904-Grace Steele Allen 
Geneva E. Blair 
Ruth Burnside 
Virginia A. Carver 
Lula Clark 
Margarer C. Eagle 
Mary E. Miller 
Frances Reichard Mumma 
Jeanette Dossy Peterson 
Margaret Elizabeth White 



Appendix D: 
Significant Dates in St. Mary's History 



21 March 1840 Gov. William Grason signs into law the "Act to 

(Enactment Day) Authorize the Drawing of a Lottery to Establish 

a Female Seminary ... on the Site of the An- 
cient City of Saint Marys" (Legislative Session of 
1839, Chapter 190) 

3 August 1844 The cornerstone of the Seminary Building is laid 

24 August 1844 The six-acre campus is deeded to the state 

13 November 1845 The firsr meeting of the full Board of Trustees is 

held 

14 January 1846 In a historic session, the Board of Trustees estab- 

lishes the core characteristics of St. Mary's- 
creating an affordable, nonsectarian institution 
committed to academic excellence in liberal arts 
education — that have consistently identified this 
institution ever since 



26 February 1846 



[12.>]May 1846 

October 1847 to 
June 1848 

24 February 1858 



The Maryland General Assembly makes the 
Board of Trustees "a body politic and corporate" 
in "An Act to Incorporate rhe St. Mary's Female 
Seminary" (Legislative Session of 1845, Chapter 
257) 

The first students begin classes at the Seminary 

The first full academic year is conducted at the 
Seminary 

The State of Maryland saves the Seminary by re- 
constituting the Board of Trustees in "An Act to 
Preserve the Existence of the St. Mary's Female 
Seminary" (Legislative Session of 1857, Chapter 
101) 

The General Assembly guarantees the financial 
solvency of the Seminary by beginning regular 
annual appropriations for srate scholarships (Leg- 
islative Session of 1867, Chapter 193) 



154 



June 1874 St. Mary's Female Seminary issues its first "Cer- 

tificate of Graduation" (diploma) to Miss Sallic 
Brome Morsell 

10 June 1908 Music Hall (now, St. Mary's Hall)-the oldest ex- 

tant building on campus-is finished in time fiar 
commencement ceremonies 

1 July 1923 Mary Adele France becomes principal of the 

Female Seminary, beginning the longest tenure 
of any chief executive in St. Mary's history 

5 January 1924 Fire guts the old Seminary Byilding of 1844-45 

(the first Calvert Hall) 

.3 August 1924 The cornerstone for the new and present Calvert 

Hall is laid on the original foundations, eighty 
years to the day from the first cornerstone laying 
ceremony. The guest of honor is Mrs. Cecelia 
Coad Roberts, last surviving member of the first 
entering class, who attended the first ceremony 
in 1844 

23 April 1926 St. Mary's becomes the first |unior college in 

Maryland upon the recommendation of the Board 
of Trustees 

11 June 1929 Edwin Tyler Burch becomes the first male to 

graduate from St. Mary's Female Seminary 

12 June 1930 Katherine M. Bowdle, Dorothy Connor, Irma K. 

Mumford, and Virginia Dare Sollers become the 
first graduates of the Junior College Division 

29 December 1930 St. Mary's receives national accreditation as a 
high school for the first time in its history; in 
193 1 the State of Maryland recognizes it as a 
"First Class, First Group High School " 

15- 16 June 1934 St. Mary's Female Seminary-Junior College is the 
host institution for the State of Maryland's Ter- 
centenary Celebration 

10 June 1935 Charles Birch becomes the first male graduate of 

the Junior College 

May 1937 Adele France is named the first president of St. 

Mary's and the school is included as a regular 
item in the state budget for the first time 

1937- 1938 In this academic year, St. Mary's becomes a four- 

year Junior College (high school grades 1 1 and 
12, college years 1 and 2) 

21 March 1941 The Gymnasium and Recreation Building (now 

Kent Hall) is dedicated, a gift of the state in rec- 
ognition of the centennial anniversary of the in- 
stitution 



17 April 1941 



3 June 1941 



23 September 
1941 



1 December 1948 

1 July 1948 

I July 1949 

28 November 1959 

5 June 1960 
7 April 1964 



The four-year Junior College receives accredita- 
tion by the Maryland State Department of Edu- 
cation 

The Board of Trustees, as constituted by the 
state in 1858, meets for the last time before re- 
organization 

The reconstituted Board of Trustees meets for 
the first time and features the first members who 
are women, alumnae, and non-residents of St. 
Mary's County 

The Maryland General Assembly renews the 
state's commitment to St. Mary's, rejecting the 
1 February 1947 recommendation of the Mary- 
land Commission on Higher Education to close 
the institution 

Anna May Russell becomes the new president 
of St, Mary's Female Seminary Junior College, 
beginning a successful tenure of 21 years 

"Female" is dropped from the name of the 
institution 

St. Mary's Seminary Junior College receives its 
first accreditation from the Middle States Asso- 
ciation of Colleges and Secondary Schools 

St. Mary's graduates its last high school class 

Gov. J. Millard Tawes signs legislation changing 
the name of the institution to the present St. 
Mary's College of Maryland 

September 1965 The first resident male students arrive on campus 

28 September The State Board of Higher Education approves 
1966 the elevation of St. Mary's to senior college sta- 
tus, and the school will initiate a baccalaureate 
curriculum beginning in the 1967-68 academic 
year 

8 June 1968 The last Junior College class graduates from St. 

Mary's 

29 May 1971 St. Mary's College of Maryland awards its first 

baccalaureate degrees 

1 June 1974 St. Mary's receives its first unconditional ac- 

creditation as a senior college from the Middle 
States Association of Colleges and Secondary 
Schools 

16 October 1989 St. Mary's is ranked the no. I regional liberal 

arts college in the northeast by U .S. News and 
World Report 1990 College Guide 



155 



Index 



Abell, Charles, 49 

Abell, C. Ethelbert, 49, 90 

Abell, Edwards., 49 

Abell, John B., 42, 49 

Abell, James F., 49 

Act for the Encouragement of Learning 
(1723), 26 

Act of Toleration (1649), 15, 16, text of, 16 

Admissions Office (Chapman Property, 
1974), 111 

Algonquians, See Indians 

Alumnae Association, 68, 85; and restruc- 
turing of Board 89; and Marbury Commis- 
sion Report, 92, 115 

American Revolution, 21, 26, 28 

Andrews, Matthew Page, 68 

Anglicanism, established as official religion, 
20 

Annapolis, known as Arundel Town, 20 

Anne Arundel Hall (1954), 102 

Ark And Dove. 12, 14 

Babb, Matilda, 39 

Bailey, Paul J , 102 

Baker, Alison, 133-134 

Baltimore College of Maryland, See Univer- 
sity of Maryland 

Baltimore Hall (Library, 1969), 111, 119. 
143 

Barber, Luke, 18 

Barber, Robert T , 49 

Barley, Frank J, 118 

Bennett, James M., 68 

Bennett, John White, 32, 33, 34, 39, 40 

Billingsley, Chapman, 42, 49 

Birch, Charles D., 77 

Birch, Edwin, 66 

Biscoe, William, 34, 39 

Blackistone, James T. , 29, 34 

Blackistone, Nehemiah, 20 

Boone, Geneva, 108, HI 

Bradford, Augustus W. , 44 

Brent, Fulke, 18 

Brent, Margaret, 14, 15, 18, 21 

Briscoe, John H.T., 92 

Briscoe, Walter Hanson Stone, 47 

Brome, JohnM., 33, 42, 49, 51 

Brooke, Robert, 18 

Broun, R. Bascom, Jr., 92, 99, 108, 111 

Bruce, William Cabell, 68 

Buckler, George L., 68, 89 

Calvert, Cecil (Second Baron Baltimore), 

13-14, 16, 19, 21 
Calvert, Charles (Third Baron Baltimore), 

18, 20 
Calvert Hall ("Seminary Building"), 
original building (1845), 33; 
named officially as Calvert Hall (1955), 

33; 
completion and repair of 1845 structure, 

33-34, 44-45; 
destruction during Great Fire (1924), 57, 
62-64; 



rebuilding, 66, 68; 

new cornerstone (1924), 68, 70; 

completion of 1925 structure, 70-71; 

construction of riverside wing (1929), 81; 

during Tercentenary, 82-83; 

Memorial Rooms of Calvert Hall (insert), 69 

Calvert, Leonard, 12, 14, 17 

Calvert, Phillip, 18 

Calvert, Sir George (First Baron Baltimore), 

12-13 
Camalier, B. Harris, 49, 68, 73, 89 
Camalier, John A., 6, 49 
Capper, Meredith, 144 
Carberry, Polly, 28 
Caroline Hall (1970), 111 
Carroll, Rev. John, 28 
Carpenter, John E. , 42, 49 
Carpenter, J. Walter, 49 
Catholicism 12-13, 19; and discrimination, 

20 
Charles HalK 1966), 111 
Charles I, 12,15 
Charlotte Hall School, 26 
Cheseldyne, Kenelm, 20 
Chovanes, Andrew, 128 
Claiborne, William, 12, 14, 16 
Clarke, Edward O., 145 
Clifton, Lucille, 139 
Coad, Allan J, 64, 68, 90 
Coad, William R., 29, 32, 34 
Cobb Residence, See Presidents House 
Combs, Arthur C, 68 
Combs, Cornelius, 32, 33, 34; 
Combs, Frank A., 109 
Combs, Louis C, 49 
Coode, John, 20 
Cook, Albert S., 73 
Copley, Sir Lionel, 20 
Court, Levy, 34 
Crane, J Parran, 49, 51 
Cremona Foundation, 144 
Cromwell, Oliver, 16 
Crouch, Ralph, 19 
Curry, Rupert G., 145 

Daugherty, Jack, 143 

Daugherty, Kay Palmer, 143 

Daugherty-Palmer Commons, 143 

Daughters of the American Revolution, 80 

Davenport, William H., 52, 53, 54, 55, 5/ 

Davis, Sallie T. , 75 

de Loache, Ida, 62 

Dent, J Marshall, 49, 68, 90 

Dent, Lettie Marshall, 55 

Digges, Jenny, 28 

Dixon, Elizabeth M., 71 

Dixon, T. Raymond, 90 

Dodge, Norton T. , 140 

Dorchester Hall, (1966) HI 

Dorsey, Philip H., 118 

Dorsey, Walter B., 109 

Dyer, Giles F , 49 

Edelen, William J., 34 



Empalh. 125, 128, 

Enactment Day, 30 

English Civil War (1642-1649), 14, 15 

Evandcr, Bernard, 71, 87 

Evans, Thomas, 33 

Ewalt, Mrs. George L., 90, 94 

Fahl, B. Elwood , 105 

Finch, Jeremiah, 111, 115; Tribute lo May 

Russell (insen), 115 
Fleet, Henry, 11, 12 
Ford, Mary A., 22 
Foreman, Will, 130 
Fowler, Henry J. , 109 
Foxwell, Thomas F. , 49 
France Foundation, 144 
France, M. Adele ("School Mother"), 

founder of the Junior College, 6, 61; 

Miss Frame's Rules and Regulations (insert), 
63; 

as principal, 62, 64-65, 70-71, 73-75, 
78-80, 90-92; 

and Marbury Commission Report, 92—94; 

Miss Frame's Method of Evaluating Students 
(insert), 91; 

retirement (1948), 87, 94-95; 

legacy, 95-97 
Freedom of Conscience Monument, 8 1 

Garden of Remembrance, 82 
Gardiner, Lottie L., 47 
Gardiner, Lucy L., 43, 47 
(jardiner, Mary, 47 
CJarner, Richard H, 49 
Glorious Revolution (1688-1689), 20 
Goldsborough, A.S., 66, 70 
Goldsborough, Phillips Lee, 68 
Goldstein, Louis L., 102, 108, 109 
Grason, Charles S., 68, 85, 90 
Grason, William, 30 
Greenwell, Priscilla "Muddy," 38 
Griffin, Richard W., 112, 113 
Gymnasium and Recreation Building (Kent 
Hall), 86-87 

Hammett, Daniel C, 6 
Harrington, Eleanor Digges, 144 
Harris, Benjamin Gwinn, 50 
Hayden, Samuel, 68 
Heard, Benedict 1., 34 
Hendrickson, R. Ames, 90, 93 
Henley, Charles K., 113 
Hicks. Thomas HoUiday, 42 
Honkala, Fred S., 127 
Home, Anne B., 62 
Hough, Rebecca R., 39 
Howard, Jeannette Brome, 101, 109 
Howard, J Spence, 66, 71, 101 
Hudson, Harriet D., 128 

Indians American, Algonquians, 11, 12; 
Nacotchtank, 11; Piscataway, 12; 
Susquehannock, 12, 14, 16; Yoacomacoes, 
11, 12 



157 



Ingle, Richard, 14 

Jackson, Melvin H., 132 

Jackson, J. Renwick. , Jr. (President 

1969-1982), 99, 112, 117-135; 

elected as president (1969), 117-118; 

inauguration (1970), 119; 

response to student unrest, 119-120; 

and creation of St. Mary's College of Mary- 
land Foundation, Inc., 123; 

and Master Plan (1972), 123-124; 

censured by faculty, 126; 

no confidence vote by Student Government 
Association (1977), 128-129; 

resignation (1982), 133-134; 

legacy, 134-135; 
James I, 13 
James II, 20 
Jesuits, 28 
Johnson, Felix, 111 
Jones, Caleb M., 32, 34 
Jones, Cornelia D., 85 
Jones, James Kemp, 42 
Jones, Mary Ellen, 84 
Jones, Randolph, 33 
Jones, Stephen M., 49, 64, 68, 90 

Kennedy, Alexandet, 66 

Kennedy, John Pendleton, 29; Rob of the 

Bou-l. 29 
Kent Hall, 86-87; 
Kent Island, 14 
Key, Henry G. S., 34 
Key, Joseph H., 49 
Kibbie, Bessie, 68 
King Williams School, 25, 26 
Kittamaquund, Mary, 15 
Knorr, Sheldon, 129, 134 

LaFarge, Rev. John, 86 

Lane, William Preston, Jr., 92, 100 

Langley, Indiana Milburn, 48 

Langley, Laurel Richardson, 48 

Langley, Leila, 48 

League of Women Voters, 78 

Lee, E. Brooke, 68 

Leonardtown, 20 

Leopard, Virginia Cross Blackistone, 146 

Lewger, John, 14, 17, 18 

Lewis, Edward T. (President 1983- ), 99, 

135-147; 

appointed president (1983), 135-136; 

and curriculum development, 138-139; 

and Capital Campaign, 144; 

Ever Forward (insen), 146 
Lewis, Fulton, Jr, 102 
Lexington Park, 90 
Library, See Baltimore Hall 
Lilburn, Annie Elizabeth Thomas, 65-66, 

83 
Lindsay, Elizabeth, 75 
Linthicum, J. Charles, 68 
Loker, Thomas, 34 
Loker, William Aleck, 111, 115 

Maddox, George Frederick, 45, 49 
Maddox, Lucy Virginia, 48, 55, 57, 61, 62, 



85, 99 
Magruder, James M. , 90 
Mandel, Marvin, 129 
Margaret Brent Hall (1951), 102 
Marbury Commission Report (1947), 92-94 
Marbury, William L., 92, 94 
Margaret Robert Hodges Memorial, 80 
Maryland National Bank, 144 
McKeldin, Theodore R., 102, 108 
Meany, Edward J, 36, 39 
Medley, Charles, 42, 49 
Men's Student Government Association, 105 
Miller, Henry, 18 
Monroe, James B., 102 
Morgan, George W. , 42, 49 
Morsell, Sallie Brome, 1st official graduate, 

46 
Morsell, Mrs. William S., Jr, 111, 118 
Mount Saint Agnes, 75 
Mullikin, Kent R., Ill 

Nacotchtank, See Indians 
Neale, Henry C, 42 
Newtown Manor, 19 
Nicholson, Sir Francis, 25 
Nuthead, William, 18 

Ohr, Eliza M., 39, 40 
O'Brien, Elizabeth, 62 
OConor, Herbert R., 85, 87, 90, 92 

Palmer, Robert V, 90 

Pattillo, Manning M., Jr., 127, 128 

Patuxent River Naval Air Station (1942), 

90, 92, 96 
Penn, Noble L., 49 
Peverley George C, 66 
Piscataway, See Indians 
Point Neus. 112, 114, 119, 128 
Porto Bello, 64 
Potter, Cleveland, 66 
President's House (Cobb Residence 1969), 

HI 
Protestant Rebellion of 1689, 25 
Protestantism, 

attacks against St. Mary's City, 14; 

challenges to Catholicism, 14-16; 

See also Puritans, Battle of the Severn 
Pullen, Thomas G., Jr., 94 
Puritans, 15-16; 

conversion to Quakerism, 16; 

Puritan Republic, 14 

Quakerism, 16 

Queen Anne Hall (1965), 111 

Quinn, David Beers, 132 

Radcliffe, George L., 109, 111 

Raley, Frank J, Jr., 48 

Raley, James Thomas, 49, 50 

Reeder, Mrs. J. Dawson, 66 

Risteau, Mary E.W., 86 

Ritchie, Albert C, 64, 66, 68, 71, 81, 84 

Roberts, Cecelia Coad, 37, 39, 68 

Robinson, Thomas H., 68 

Robinson, Charles M., 66 

Rotha, Louise K., 95 



Russell, May Anna (President 1948-1969), 

6, 99-117; 

chosen as president (1948), 99-100; 

lawsuits against, 112-113; 

accused of bad faith by faculty, 113; 

summons state police against student dem- 
onstrations, 114; 

resignation (1969), 114-115; 

legacy, 116-117; 

death, 117; 

A Tribute to May R//sse/! (.insen), 115 
Russell, Stanislaus, 66 

St. Clements Island, 12 
St. Inigoes, 19 
St. John's, 17, 18 

St. John's College (Annapolis), 27, 32 
St. Mary's Academy for Young Ladies, 28 
St. Mary's Beacon. 42, 43 
St. Mary's City, 
colonial heritage, 11-14, 17-18; 
as capital of Maryland, 11, 12, 18; 
invaded by William Claiborne, 16; 
architecture, 18; 
Catholic Chapel, 18; 
State House, 18; 
no longer capital, 19-20; 
no longer county seat, 20; 
300th Anniversary of founding (1934), 

81-84; 
certified as landmark, 113 
St. Mary's City Commission, 113, 121 
St. Mary's College of Maryland, 8-9, 101, 
107, 109-147; 
founding, 8, 11; 

and St. Mary's Female Seminary 25, 32, 
officially St. Mary's College of Maryland 

(1964), 111; 
official state approval as senior college 

(1966), 111-112; 
first bachelor's degree (1971), HI, 122- 

123; 
during the 1960s, 112-114; 
and the Faculty Senate, 113; 
resignation of May Russell, 114-115; 
first presidential inauguration (1970), 118- 

119; 
and student unrest, 119, 127-130; 
creation of St. Mary's College of Maryland 

Foundation, Inc., 123; 
Master Plan, 123-124; 
provisional accreditation by Middle States 
Association as senior college (1972), 123- 
124; 
struggle between faculty and President 
Renwick Jackson, 126-128, 133-134; 
resignation of Renwick Jackson, 133-134; 
appointment of interim President Richard 

Weigle, 135; 
appointment of President Edward T. Lewis 

(1983), 135-136; 
and curriculum reform, 138-140; 
Capital Campaign, 144-145; 
reaccreditation by Middle States Associa- 
tion (1984), 145 
St. Mary's College of Maryland, Foundation 
Inc., 123, 144 



158 



St. Mary's County, depression of 1837-39, 

28 
St. Mary's County Free School, 26 
St, Mary's Female Seminary, 
Calvert Legacy, U; 
founding, 25; 

and Charlotte Hall School, 26; 
bill to "Establish a Female Seminary" 

(1840), 29-30; 
as Monument School, 30,32; 
mission of the seminary, 30, 32; 
funding by lottery, 30, 32, 33 (see insert, 

31); 
first trustees, 32-33; 
cornerstone laid (1844), 33; 
and dedication, 33; 

land deeded to the State of Maryland, 33; 
first trustees meeting (1845), 33-34; 
first Board of Trustees, 33-34; 
incorporation by State of Maryland (1846), 

34; 
tuition, room and board (1846), 34, 35; 
core values as determined by trustees, 35; 
and non-sectarian principles, 35; 
official opening (1846), 37; 
first year, 37-40; 

curriculum, 38-39, 47, 62, 73, 75; 
religious crisis, 40-41; 
closed from 1856-1858, 40-41; 
Act to Preserve the Existence of St. Mary's 

Female Seminary (1858), 41-42; 
and Madame Despommiers French and En- 
glish Academy of Baltimore, 42; 
during Civil 'War, 43-44; 
Act for the Relief of the St. Mary's Female 

Seminary, 44; 
first graduation, 46; 
during World War I, 52-53; 
faculty of 1914-1915, 55; 
formation of Alumnae Association (1917), 

57; 
Commencement of 1885 (insert), 46; 
Seminary Signal, first student newspaper, 

62; 
Great Fire (1924), 62-66; 
rebuilding after Great Fire, 65-68; 
attended by male students, 66; 
first male graduates (1929, 1930), 66; 
Enactment Day (1924), 68; 
dedication of Alumnae Lodge (1924), 68; 
as Junior College (1926-68), 61-62, 73- 

76; 

curriculum as Junior College, 73, 75, 
76-78; 

faculty of Junior College, 75-78; 

accreditation (1931), 76; 

first graduates of Junior College (1930), 
77; 

first male graduates of Junior College 
(1935), 77; 

reorganization as four year Junior College 
(1935-1937), 77-80; 

accreditation as four year Junior College, 
80, 86-87; 

tuition, 80; 

during depression (1933-1939), 80-81; 

celebration of 300th Anniversary of St. 



Mary's City founding (1934), 81-84; 

100th Anniversary founding of St. Mary's 
Female Seminary (1939), 81, 84-87; 
electricity connected (1931), 81; 
Gymnasium and Recreation Building 

completed (1941), (Kent Hall), 86-87; 
and World War II, 87, 90, 92; 

restructuring of Board of Trustees to al- 
low for women, 87, 89-90; 

opposition to new Board structure, 89- 
90; 

post World War II, 92; 

and Marbury Commission Report, 92- 
95, 

opposed by Board of Trustees, 92-93, 
rejection of Marbury Commission 
Report, 94; 

retirement of M. Adele France, 94-95; 

changes name to St. Mary's Seminary 
Junior College (1949), 100-101; 

denied accreditation by Middle States As- 
sociation, 102-103; 

creation of evening division, 104-106; 

first full-time male faculty, 105 ; 

accredited by Middle States Association 
(1959), 106-107; 

graduation of final class of high school se- 
niors, 107-108; 

name changed to St. Mary's College of 
Maryland (1964), 110 

Sanner, Alfred G. , 68 

Sasscer, Lansdale G., 85, 99 

Sasscer, Mrs. Lansdale G., 90 

Saunders, Alfred, 66 

School Mother, See France, M. Adele 

Schuler, Hans, 81 

Seminary Building, See Calvert Hall 

Sesquicentennial, 8 

Severn Battle of (1655), 16 

Sewall, Henry, 34 

Shaw, Joseph F , 29 

Shemwell, James, 42 

Shermantine, John A.B., 49 

Smith, William L., 34 

Somerset Hall (1969), HI 

Sothoron, L.J. , 90 

Stanley, Elsie V. , 62 

Stark, Richard, 125 

Starkey, Rev. Lawrence, 19 

State House (1676), 18 

Stevens, Mrs. J. Kemp, 90 

Stevens, Robert, 66 

Student Government Association, 129 

Susquehannock, See Indians 

Swann, Thomas, 44, 45, 49 

Talbot Hall (1968), 111 

Tawes, J Millard, 108, 109, 110 

Tawney, Harrison E., 104 

Thomas, Annie Elizabeth, See Lilburn, 

Lizzie Thomas 
Thomas, Edward M., 67 
Thomas, Richard, 34 
Thomas, Jeannette, 47 
Thomas, Mrs., Roland, T , 71 
Tilghman, Henrietta K., 47 
Tippett, Benjamin, 42, 49 



Tolles, Winton, 112 
Trinity Church, 32, 33, 62, 64, 66 
Trytten, Merriam H., 118 
Turnburke, David V. , 10 1 

University of Maryland, 32, 66 

Waldschmitt, Joseph A., 144 

Walthen, Elizabeth Revell, 89, 90 

Waring, James, 42 

Washington College, 27, 32 

Watts, William, 2 

Weigle, Richard D., 135; On the Liberal Am 

(insert), 136 
Weiner, Benjamin, 66 
White House (Caretaker Cottage), 8 1 
White, Rev. Andrew, 12, 18-19 
Whitman, Arthur, 10, 5 
Whitmore, Rev. C.W., 62, 65 
Whitmore, Ethel, 62 
William and Mary, College of, 26 
Williams, Lawrence P., 68, 73, 90 
Williamson, Mrs. O.H., 78 
Wilson, Christopher, 128 
Wood, Kenneth W., 105 
Wyatt, Sir Francis, 11 

Yarborough, Kemp P., 105 
"Vates, James Thompson, 42, 49 
Yoacomacoes, See Indians 

Zachariah D. Blackistone Trust, 144 



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